Updated March 4 at 11:04am

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ECONOMIC INDICATORS

April jobless rate drops in Providence metro

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WASHINGTON - Unemployment rates were lower year over year in April for 342 of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate for the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area fell 0.3 percentage points from 11.0 percent in April 2011 to 10.7 percent in April 2012, not seasonally adjusted.

As a whole, Rhode Island saw the opposite change, with the unemployment rate rising 0.1 percentage points to 11.1 percent from 11 percent over the same period.

The state’s unemployment rate, however, did drop 0.7 percentage points month-over-month from 11.8 percent in March 2012.

The R.I. Department of Labor and Training reported a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 11.2 percent in April and 11.1 percent in March.

Month-over-month, the Providence metro area’s jobless rate dropped 0.9 percentage points from 11.6 percent in March to 10.7 percent in April.

Nationally, 10 metropolitan areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15 percent, while 32 areas registered rates of less than 5 percent. In March, only 17 metropolitan areas registered jobless rates of less than 5 percent.

In the New Bedford metropolitan area, the March unemployment rate dropped 1.7 percentage points to 8.8 percent, compared with 10.5 percent in April 2011.

Nationwide, 246 metropolitan areas reported year-over-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment. One-hundred and fifteen – including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick area – reported decreases, and 11 metro areas reported no change between April 2011 and April 2012.

The national unemployment rate in April was 7.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 8.7 percent in 2011.

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