WASHINGTON – Rhode Island was one of three states that averaged an unemployment rate of greater than 9 percent in 2013, according to year-end figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Ocean State’s average rate for the year of 9.5 percent trailed Nevada, which had a yearly average of 9.8 percent, and was greater than the 9.2 percent posted in Illinois. Rhode Island’s 2013 rate represented a 0.8 percent decline from the 2012 rate of 10.3 percent, which trailed Nevada’s average of 11.5 percent and California’s 10.4 percent.
Rhode Island was one of 25 states with a statistically significant drop in unemployment rate between 2012 and 2013, according to the BLS, and at eight-tenths of a percentage point, Rhode Island’s decline tied for the 13th-largest drop year over year.
The largest decline from 2012 to 2013 was recorded by Nevada, which went from 11.5 percent unemployment to 9.8 percent.
Massachusetts was one of two states that saw its jobless rate increase over the period, going from 6.8 percent to 7.1 percent, while Connecticut saw a one-half percentage point drop to 7.8 percent.
New England recorded a year-over-year decline of one-tenth of a percentage point to finish 2013 with an average jobless rate of 7.1 percent, slightly less than the national average of 7.4 percent.
The number of Rhode Islanders who were employed in 2013 increased to 503,000 from 501,000 at the same time that the civilian labor force (representing the sum of employed and unemployed residents in the state) fell to 556,000 from 559,000.
Massachusetts saw an increase of employment of less than one-tenth percent to 3.2 million as its labor force grew 0.4 percent to 3.5 million. Connecticut, on the other hand, saw the number of people with jobs fall 0.9 percent to 1.7 million, with a 1.4 percent decline in its labor force to 1.9 million.
New England saw a decline of one-quarter of a percent in the size of its labor force to 7.7 million at the same time that the number of people working in the region fell less than one-tenth of a percent to 7.2 million. The number of people employed across the United States increased in 2013 by 1 percent to 143.9 million, as the civilian labor force grew 0.3 percent to 155.4 million people.