Updated March 25 at 12:28am

Metro jobless rate continues year-over-year drop


WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates fell year over year in January in 227 of the United States’ 372 metropolitan areas, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro, according to the latest available, non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.

The region’s jobless rate fell to 10.6 percent from 11.5 percent in January 2012, according to preliminary figures from the BLS, as 73,600 people who were looking for work could not find a job. Revised figures for December 2012 showed the region had a 9.4 percent unemployment rate. In a separate note, the BLS said that it had revised all unemployment data from 2008 to 2012.

For the same January to January period, Rhode Island’s jobless rate fell to 10.5 percent from 11.6 percent, with December 2012 posting the same revised 9.4 rate. (The seasonally adjusted rate for the state, released previously by the state Department of Labor and Training, was 9.8 percent.)

The New Bedford metro area saw its unemployment rate increase in January, to a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 11.9 percent, compared with an 11.8 percent rate in January 2012. The BLS reported that the December rate was 10.2 percent.

The Bay State saw its non-seasonally adjusted rate fall one-tenth of a percentage point in January to 7.4 percent (with a rate of 6.6 percent in December).

The non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for the nation in January was 8.5 percent, a decline from the 8.8 percent a year earlier.

The Providence and New Bedford metro areas were among the 306 of the nation’s 372 that had increases in nonfarm employment, according to the government. Providence-Fall River-Warwick saw the number of workers grow 0.6 percent, or 3,200, to 535,900 in January. New Bedford’s gain was 2.2 percent, or 1,400, to 65,900 employed in the region.


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