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Rhode Island Unemployment Rate Falls

Posted on August 25, 2010

The Rhode Island unemployment rate dipped for the fifth straight month to 11.9%, according to the R.I. Department of Labor.

It dropped a tenth of a percentage point. The fifth consecutive monthly decline came as the private sector added 1,500 jobs in July, an improvement that was partially offset by the loss of 900 government jobs last month, the DLT said.

The state’s non-farm payrolls rose to 451,800 in July.

Rhode Island’s largest job gains in June came in the accommodation and food service sector, which picked up 900 jobs as seasonal hiring continued into July, the DLT said.

Manufacturing jobs increased by 600 last month because of fewer seasonal layoffs than normal, according to the DLT. Retail trade also added 600 positions due in part of the reopening of businesses hit by the March floods, labor officials said.

Gains were also reported in arts, entertainment and recreation, and “other services,” which each grew by 400 jobs. Health care and social assistance, and educational services each added 100 positions, while transportation and utilities, information and natural resources, and mining sectors remained unchanged.

At the same time, however, the number of unemployed residents – those classified as available for work and actively seeking employment – sank for the sixth consecutive month, declining by 1,000 to 68,300.

Last month, Rhode Island’s jobless rate was the fourth-highest in nation. Between December and FEbruary, the rate had reached 12.7%. Since then, it has dropped for five straight months in a row.

The United States unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.5%. Rhode Island’s neighbor Massachusetts’ unemployment rate also remained unchanged and held steady at 9%, lower than the national average.


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