Providence metro unemployment 3.9% in May

THE NON-SEASONALLY ADJUSTED UNEMPLOYMENT RATE in the Providence metro area declined 0.2 percentage points year over year in May to 3.9 percent. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT
THE NON-SEASONALLY ADJUSTED UNEMPLOYMENT RATE in the Providence metro area declined 0.2 percentage points year over year in May to 3.9 percent. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT

PROVIDENCE – The unemployment rate in the Providence-Warwick-Fall River metropolitan area was 3.9 percent in May, not seasonally adjusted, a 0.2 percentage point decline both year over year and month to month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday.

The national unemployment rate in May was 3.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted, a 0.5 percentage point decline from 4.1 percent a year earlier.

The labor force in the metro area increased 14,844 workers to 692,689. The number of workers on nonfarm payrolls in the state increased 7,700 in that time to 601,000 from 593,300.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed in the area during that time declined to 26,707 from 27,553.

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The non-adjusted Rhode Island unemployment rate in May was 3.8 percent, with nonfarm employment of of 505,500. The state’s labor force increased by 9,728 year over year to 558,642. The number of unemployed in the state declined from 22,013 to 21,420.

In the New Bedford metro area, the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in May, a 0.3 percentage point decline year over year. The area experienced a decline in the number of unemployed, from 4,393 to 4,275. The labor force in the metro area in May was 86,721, a 2,452 increase from May 2017. The number of workers on nonfarm payrolls increased to 68,700 from 68,300 in May, a 0.6 percent increase year over year.

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts in May was 3.3 percent, a 0.4 percentage point decline year over year, even taking into account a 4 percent increase in the labor force to 3.8 million. The number of workers on nonfarm payrolls increased 1.4 percent year over year to 3.7 million.

Jobless rates were lower in May than a year earlier in 350 of the nation’s 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 20, and unchanged in 18. Nonfarm payroll employment grew in 332 metropolitan areas over the year, fell in 52, and were unchanged in 4.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.