Updated March 25 at 12:26pm

New England jobless rate fell to 7.2% in 2012


BOSTON – The unemployment rate for New England fell 0.6 percentage points over the year to 7.2 percent in 2012, 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, had an unemployment rate below the national average of 8.1 percent in 2012.

This marked the fifth consecutive year that New England’s unemployment rate was “measurably lower” than the national unemployment rate, the Bureau said in a release.

Of the six New England states, Vermont had the lowest jobless rate at 5 percent, followed by New Hampshire at 5.5 percent, Massachusetts at 6.7 percent and Maine at 7.3 percent. Connecticut’s rate was “not appreciably different from that of the nation,” according to BLS.

Rhode Island was the only New England state with an unemployment rate measurably higher than the national rate at 10.4 percent.

Even with Rhode Island’s revised December 2012 unemployment rate of 9.9 percent, which the R.I. Department of Labor and Training released at the end of January, the Ocean State is still well above the national unemployment average.

Of the nine geographic divisions in the U.S., the Pacific division reported the highest jobless rate at 9.8 percent, and the West North Central division registered the lowest rate at 5.6 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 8.2 percent in 2012, unchanged from 2011.


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