Updated May 22 at 5:40pm

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R.I. jobless remains 2nd-highest in U.S.

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WASHINGTON – Rhode Island’s 10.9 percent unemployment rate in June remains the second worst in the country, as the state saw the largest year-over-year percentage decline in employment in the United States, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

The national jobless rate was 8.2 percent for June, unchanged from May and 0.9 percentage points lower than in June 2011.

The bureau reported that in June, 27 states saw monthly unemployment rate increases, with Rhode Island being one of only 11 states and the District of Columbia to post a monthly unemployment rate decrease. However, 47 states and the District of Columbia registered decreases from June 2011.

Rhode Island showed a 0.8 percent decrease from June 2011 to June 2012 in nonfarm payroll employment. The state is one of only six that reported a year-to-year employment decrease.

Over the last year, the report showed, 30 states experienced statistically significant employment increases, with the top states being California, Texas, New York and Ohio.

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is better only than Nevada, which came in at 11.6 percent for the month. Massachusetts has a 6 percent unemployment rate, while South Dakota registered the nation’s lowest rate at 2.9 percent.

For the year, Massachusetts was among 28 states and the District of Columbia that reported statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from June 2011, the largest of which occurred in Nevada (-2.2 percentage points).

Massachusetts’ 6 percent rate is a 1.4 percentage point drop from its 7.4 percent rate in June 2011, ranking the state tied for 8th nationally for the biggest unemployment drop. Rhode Island ranked in a tie for 40th nationally, with a 0.5 percentage point drop, from 11.4 percent

Regionally, the Northeast reported a 0.2 percent increase in its unemployment rate, to 8.1 percent.

The bureau reported that the West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in June at 9.4 percent. The Midwest again reported the lowest rate at 7.3 percent.

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