Providence metro unemployment declines to 4.8% in Jan.

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE in the Providence metro area declined 0.5 percentage points year over year to 4.8 percent in January. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT
THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE in the Providence metro area declined 0.5 percentage points year over year to 4.8 percent in January. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT

PROVIENCE – Unemployment in the Providence-Warwick-Fall River metropolitan area was 4.8 percent in January, a 0.5 percentage-point decline year over year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.

The number of unemployed in the metro declined to 33,373 from 36,508 over the year while the labor force increased to 688,725 people from 684,376. The Providence metro nonfarm employment increased to 580,200 in January 2019 from 574,600 in January 2018.

The unemployment rate in the New Bedford metro was 5.8 percent in January, a decline from 7.4 percent one year prior. The number of unemployed declined to 5,078 from 6,297 year over year. The labor force in that time increased to 88,242 people from 85,398. Nonfarm employment in the New Bedford metro increased to 66,300 from 64,600 over the year.

In the Norwich-New London, Conn.-Westerly metro area, the unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in January, a decline from 5.3 percent one year prior. The number of unemployed in the metro declined to 6,827 from 7,413 while the labor force increased to 142,548 people from 140,450. Nonfarm employment in the metro increased to 127,600 from 126,900 year over year.

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Unemployment rates were lower in January than a year earlier in 199 of the 389 metropolitan areas in the United States. The national unemployment rate in January was 4.4 percent.

In January, Ames, Iowa, had the lowest unemployment rate of all metro areas in the nation at 1.9 percent.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. Email him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.