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ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Unemployment drops in Providence metro in November

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WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates were lower in November in 322 of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area, according to nonseasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate dropped to 9.9 percent in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro, not seasonally adjusted, during November. Year over year, the metro area’s unemployment rate 0.4 percentage points from the 10.3 percent reported in November 2011.

The Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area fared slightly better than for the state of Rhode Island, which posted a 10 percent unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, during the month.

(The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Rhode Island, as previously released by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, was 10.4 percent in November.)

The New Bedford metro area’s jobless rate was unchanged year over year at 9.5 percent in November, not seasonally adjusted. Massachusetts as a whole saw its unemployment rate drop from 6.4 percent in November 2011 to 6.1 percent in November 2012, not seasonally adjusted.

The national unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 percent in November 2011 7.4 percent in November 2012, not seasonally adjusted.

During the month, 288 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area; 77 metro areas reported decreases and 7 exhibited no change.

In a separate report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the employment and wages for the 328 largest U.S. counties for the second quarter of 2012.

From June 2011 to June 2012, employment increased in 287 of the 328 largest U.S. counties, including Providence County and Bristol County, Mass.

Providence County saw employment improve 0.6 percent between June 2011 and June 2012 to 271,600. In Bristol County, Mass. employment increased 0.1 percent year over year in the second quarter to 214,100.

Both Providence and Bristol counties saw decreases in the average weekly wage for workers. In Providence County, the average weekly wage dropped 1 percent year over year in the second quarter to $888. In Bristol County, the average weekly wage dropped 1.3 percent to $826.

Comparatively, the average weekly wage in the U.S. increased 1.3 percent over the year to $903 during in the second quarter of 2012.

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