Updated March 28 at 3:28pm

Providence area employment still below pre-recession numbers


PROVIDENCE – Four-fifths of the 102 major metropolitan areas in the United States, including the Providence metro area, still have fewer private-sector jobs than they did in 2007 before the recession hit.

The On Numbers Economic Index team, from the American City Business Journals, analyzed employment trends in the 102 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 500,000 and found that 86 lost jobs between September 2007 and September 2012.

In the five-year period, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Providence has lost 33,800 jobs, or 6.6 percent of its workforce. In September 2012, the metro area had 478,400 workers, compared with 512,200 workers during the same month in 2007.

The metro area’s 6.6 percent job loss puts it 75th out of 102 on the list of overall job loss since the recession.

Only 17 of the country’s metropolitan areas have posted increases in employment since September 2007, with three Texas markets enjoying the strongest growth in private-sector employment.

Employment in the Austin metro area increased 7.6 percent, or 46,000 jobs, during the five-year period, while the Houston area saw an increase of 5.56 percent, or 122,800 jobs, and the McAllen-Edinburg metro area saw an improvement of 4.76 percent, or 7,700, in private-sector employment.

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area suffered the biggest loss of jobs, percentage wise, slipping 13.6 percent since 2007.

In terms of raw numbers, the Los Angeles metro area suffered the worst, losing 333,300 jobs since September 2007. The Chicago and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro areas rounded out the bottom three for negative raw change, losing 204,300 and 160,900 jobs, respectively.


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