Updated March 27 at 9:27am

Unemployment rate drops in Providence metro in December


WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates were lower in December in 290 of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro, not seasonally adjusted, during December. Year over year, the metro area’s unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage points from the 10.4 percent reported in December 2011.

The Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area, although it saw a bigger percentage point decrease, fared slightly worse than the state of Rhode Island, which posted a 9.4 percent unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, during the month.

(The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Rhode Island, as previously released by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, was 10.2 percent in December.)

The New Bedford metro area’s jobless rate was rose 0.4 percentage points year over year to 10.3 percent in December, not seasonally adjusted.

Massachusetts as a whole saw its unemployment rate hold steady at 6.6 percent in December, not seasonally adjusted.

The national unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent in December 2011 to 7.6 percent in December 2012, not seasonally adjusted.

During the month, 283 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick and New Bedford metro areas; 83 metro areas reported decreases and six exhibited no change.

The Providence metro area saw nonfarm payroll employment increase 0.6 percent from December 2011 to December 2012 with the addition of roughly 3,200 jobs.

The New Bedford metro area outpaced Providence as its nonfarm payroll employment increased 3.7 percent year over year in December.


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