WASHINGTON – Unemployment in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area plunged 1.6 percentage points to 7.8 percent in April, non-seasonally adjusted, compared with 9.4 percent a month earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.
On a year-over-year basis, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined 1.5 percentage points in April from 9.3 percent during the same period a year earlier. The metro-area labor force declined to 684,500 in April from 689,100 in March and from 688,400 in April 2013, the BLS said.
In February and March, the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area had ranked as the region with the highest unemployment rate among the 49 metro areas with a 2000 U.S. Census population of 1 million or more, but the April rate of 7.8 percent came in half a percentage point below the highest in the country, 8.3 percent, which was recorded in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
Nationally, 357 of the 372 metro areas across the United States showed unemployment rates in April that were lower than in April 2013, with the lowest coming in at 2.3 percent in Midland, Texas. Twelve metro areas had jobless rates greater than a year ago (Yuma, Ariz., had the highest at 23.8 percent), while three regions saw no change in their unemployment rates.
Regionally, the New Bedford metropolitan area saw month-over-month and year-over-year declines in its jobless rate. The April unemployment rate was 8.6 percent, compared with 10.8 percent in March and 10.4 percent in April 2013. Its labor force shrank by 2,000 between March and April, and by 300 from a year earlier.
In Worcester, the April unemployment rate of 6.1 percent represented a decline from 7.1 percent a month earlier and from 7.2 percent in April 2013. The Norwich-New London, Conn., metro area saw its non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remain drop to 6.8 percent in April, 1 percentage point below the March rate of 7.8 percent and nine-tenths of a percentage point below the April 2013 rate of 7.7 percent.
The national non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April was 5.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted.