Metro-area jobless rate returns to 8% in June as labor force grows
EVEN AS THE SIZE OF THE LABOR FORCE in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area grew in July from a month earlier, the jobless rate increased to 8 percent from 7.1 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.
PROVIDENCE – The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metropolitan area increased on a month-to-month basis to 8 percent in July. In June the rate was 7.1 percent, which itself was a decline from a May reading of 8 percent, according to the latest statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Despite the increase from the month-earlier figure, the jobless rate did represent a 1.9 percentage point decline from the 9.9 percent rate in July 2013.
The region’s labor force grew 0.3 percent to 698,800 on a year-over-year basis and 0.4 percent on a month-over-month basis, according to the BLS, even as the number of those unemployed increased from June to July 2014 by 12.9 percent to 56,000. On a year-over-year basis, however, the number of jobless in the metro area declined 19.1 percent.
The Providence area was not alone in seeing a year-over-year drop in unemployment. In 348 of the nation’s 372 metro areas, the jobless rate fell, with an increase seen in 16 areas and no change in 8, according to the BLS. The national unemployment rate for July was 6.5 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, a decline from 7.7 percent in July 2013.
The two highest metro-area jobless rates were 29.2 percent and 24.7 percent, recorded in Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., respectively. The lowest unemployment rate of 2.4 percent was recorded in Bismarck, N.D.
Three hundred and twenty-seven metro areas saw increases in nonfarm payroll employment, said the BLS, with 41 recording declines and four with no change. The largest increase in the number of people with jobs were recorded in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area (+155,400 jobs), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+120,800) and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+112,200). In fact, all metro areas with annual average employment levels greater than 750,000 (there are 38 of them) saw employment gains in the last year.
The jobless rate for the state of Rhode Island also clocked in at 8 percent in July, a decline from the July 2013 rate of 9.9 percent but an increase from the June 2014 rate of 7.1 percent. With that performance, the Ocean State retained its status as the New England state with the highest jobless rate.
Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in New England in July, at 4 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. It was followed by New Hampshire (4.4 percent), Maine (5.2 percent), Massachusetts (6.1 percent) and Connecticut (6.8 percent).