Updated March 23 at 4:23pm

R.I. falls to 6th highest unemployment rate in U.S.


WASHINGTON – Rhode Island’s unemployment rate, which fell to 9.1 percent in March, is now the sixth highest in the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

The Ocean State was one of the 26 states and the District of Columbia to see unemployment rate decreases during the month. Seven states saw over-the-month increases in March and 17 states saw no change.

Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among the states in March at 9.7 percent. Illinois (9.5 percent), California and Mississippi (9.4 percent) and North Carolina (9.2 percent) rounded out the top five.

North Dakota had the lowest jobless rate at 3.3 percent. The national figure was 7.6 percent in March, little changed from February.

The overall unemployment rate for March in the New England region was 6.9 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from February and down 0.2 percentage points from March 2012.

Although Rhode Island’s labor force decreased from 561,300 to 558,900 from February to March, the state’s labor force actual increased by 400 workers from March 2012 to March 2013, according to the BLS report.

The number of the state’s unemployed fell from 53,000 to 51,100 from February to March and fell 8,100 persons from 59,200, or an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, in March 2012 to 51,100, or 9.1 percent, last month.


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