R.I., metro area jobless rates drop, labor force shrinks

The unemployment rate in Rhode Island and the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metropolitan area dropped in August compared with the same period last year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics non-seasonally adjusted data released Monday. More

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R.I., metro area jobless rates drop, labor force shrinks

COURTESY U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
THE RHODE ISLAND AND Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area unemployment rates shrank in August compared with last year, but rose on a monthly basis, as labor forces in both regions shrank.
Posted 10/21/13

PROVIDENCE – The unemployment rate in Rhode Island and the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metropolitan area dropped in August compared with the same period last year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics non-seasonally adjusted data released Monday.

Despite the year-over-year declines, both regions saw their jobless rate increase on a monthly basis between July and August.

In terms of the size of the civilian labor force, both regions reported declines on both a yearly and a monthly basis.

The BLS reported a non-seasonally adjusted August unemployment rate of 9.6 percent for the metro area, which extends into Bristol County, Mass. The figure represents a decline of 0.8 percentage points over the 10.4 percent rate reported in August 2012, but shows a 0.2 percentage point increase compared with the July unemployment rate of 9.4 percent.

The metro area reported a labor force of 691,800 in August, showing a decline of 9,500 compared with August 2012, and a decline of 3,500 when compared with July.

The change in Rhode Island’s employment numbers paralleled the metro area figures, with the August jobless rate falling 1 percentage point to 9.4 percent compared with August 2012, but rising 0.1 percentage point from July’s rate of 9.3 percent. (The seasonally adjusted jobless rate for August was 9.1 percent, as reported on PBN.com on Sept. 19.)

The Ocean State labor force shrank by 10,000 people between August 2012 and August 2013 to 555,400, and declined by 4,500 people compared with July.

The region followed the national jobs picture, as 311 of the 372 metro areas across the United States showed unemployment rates in August that were lower than in August 2012 – with the lowest (Bismarck, N.D.) coming in at 2.4 percent. Forty-seven metro areas had jobless rates higher than a year ago (Yuma, Ariz., had the highest at 32.6 percent), while 14 regions saw no change in their unemployment rates.

The national non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was 7.3 percent, down from 8.2 percent a year earlier.

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