By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – The Providence metropolitan area saw its unemployment rate decline to 10.1 percent in September from 10.9 percent a year earlier, according to not seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday.
The Providence-Fall River-Warwick area’s jobless rate was 10.3 percent in August 2011. The statewide rate in September was 10 percent, down from 10.7 percent a year earlier and 10.2 percent a month earlier.
The New Bedford metropolitan area saw a similar decline year over year, falling to 10.3 percent in September from 11.4 percent a year earlier. The jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point from August, when the area’s jobless rate was 10.2 percent.
The Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was far lower, at 7.2 percent in September, declining from 8.3 percent a year earlier, but increasing from 7 percent a month earlier.
Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 249 of the 372 metropolitan areas nationwide; higher in 102 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas, the BLS said. Seven areas had jobless rates of at least 15 percent, while 17 areas registered rates of less than 5 percent.
El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., continued to record the highest unemployment rates, at 29.6 percent and 27 percent, respectively, in September. The lowest rate was registered in Bismarck, N.D., at 2.5 percent, followed by Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., at 3.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.