Jobless rate falls in New England in April, as region loses workers

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE fell to 6.8 percent in New England in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Posted 5/28/13

BOSTON – The unemployment rate for New England fell 0.4 percentage points year over year in April to 6.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Tuesday.

The jobless rate in New England, which is one of nine geographic divisions across the United States, was below the national average of 7.5 percent for the month.

Of the six New England states, Vermont had the lowest jobless rate in April at 4 percent, seasonally adjusted. Following Vermont were New Hampshire at 5.5 percent, Massachusetts at 6.4 percent and Maine at 6.9 percent, seasonally adjusted. Connecticut at 8 percent and Rhode Island at 8.8 percent were both above the national average.

In Rhode Island in April, the civilian labor force shrank by 0.12 percent year over year, meaning that there were 700 fewer people in the Ocean State either employed or looking for work in the 12 months ended April 30.

In New England, New Hampshire was the only state to increase its civilian labor force in April, posting a gain of 1,900, or 0.25 percent.

Connecticut posted the largest loss in its labor force at 1.96 percent, or 36,900, year over year in April. Vermont followed with a 1.5 percent loss and Rhode Island’s 0.12 percent loss was third in the region.

The New England region as a whole saw its civilian labor force contract by 0.5 percent, or 42,700. All employment data for April 2013 was listed as “preliminary.”

Of the nine geographic divisions in the U.S., the Pacific division reported the highest jobless rate at 8.5 percent, and the West North Central division registered the lowest rate at 5.4 percent.

The Northeast region, which includes the six New England states as well as New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, had a jobless rate of 7.6 percent in April, a 0.5 percentage point drop from April 2012.

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