Updated March 25 at 12:26pm

Jobless rate in Prov. metro continues to fall in March


WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates fell year over year in March in 306 of the United States’ 372 metropolitan areas, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro, according to the latest non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The region’s jobless rate fell to 9.9 percent from 11.2 percent in March 2012, according to preliminary figures from the BLS, as 68,500 people who were looking for work could not find a job.

For the same year-over-year period, Rhode Island’s jobless rate fell to 9.5 percent from 11.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (The seasonally adjusted rate for the state, released previously by the state Department of Labor and Training, was 9.1 percent.)

The New Bedford metro area’s unemployment rate was one of the 44 to increase year over year in March, to a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 11.3 percent.

The Bay State saw its non-seasonally adjusted rate fall 0.1 percentage points in March to 6.8 from 6.9 percent in March 2012.

The non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for the nation in March was 7.6 percent, a decline from the 8.4 percentage rate reported a year earlier.

The Providence and New Bedford metro areas were among the 287 of the nation’s 372 that had increases in non-farm employment, according to the government. Providence-Fall River-Warwick saw the number of workers grow 0.3 percent, or 1,500, to 542,000 in March. New Bedford’s gain was 1.4 percent, or 900, to 66,800 employed in the region.


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