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Providence area has highest Hispanic jobless rate

PROVIDENCE — A new report says the Hispanic unemployment rate in the metropolitan area that includes Providence as well as New Bedford and Fall River in Massachusetts is the country’s highest.

The Washington-based nonprofit Economic Policy Institute says the rate in the area was 23.3 percent in 2011. That was double the national Hispanic unemployment rate of 11.5 percent in 2011.

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The policy group says Orlando, Fla., had the next highest rate of 16.6 percent, followed by the Riverside, Calif., metropolitan area, where the rate was 15.4 percent.

The institute studied 25 large metropolitan areas.

The Providence metropolitan area was the only one where Hispanic unemployment was higher than 20 percent. Its 2011 rate was about 2 percentage points lower than in 2010.

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