RHODE ISLAND'S APRIL unemployment rate of 8.3 percent ranked as the highest in the country, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, despite a four-tenths-of-a-percent drop from 8.7 percent in March.
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s unemployment rate remained the highest in the country in April despite a drop of four-tenths of a percentage point to 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
Only one other state – Nevada, at 8 percent – posted an unemployment rate in April equal to or greater than 8 percent. Rhode Island and Nevada joined five other states and the District of Columbia with an unemployment rate measurably higher than the national rate of 6.3 percent, which fell four-tenths of a percentage point from 6.7 percent the previous month.
The lowest state unemployment rate, 2.6 percent, was recorded in North Dakota.
On Thursday, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said the estimated nonfarm payroll in the state increased by 6,700 (or 1.4 percent) last month to 476,000 compared with April 2013, making Rhode Island one of a handful of states to report a statistically significant change in employment over the year, according to the BLS.
In Nevada, the state with the second-highest unemployment rate for April, nonfarm payroll increased by 44,700 (or 3.8 percent) to 1.2 million.
Forty-seven U.S. states and the District of Columbia registered lower unemployment rates in April compared with a year earlier, while one state reported an increase and two states saw no change.
In Massachusetts, the unemployment rate fell to 6 percent in April, seasonally adjusted. A month earlier, in March, the Massachusetts unemployment rate was 6.3 percent and in April 2013 the rate was 7 percent.
Among the six New England states, Vermont had the region’s lowest unemployment rate, at 3.3 percent, followed by New Hampshire with 4.4 percent and Maine with 5.7 percent. Connecticut ranked fifth, below Massachusetts, with 6.9 percent.
In a ranking of the nine census divisions in the nation, New England tied with the Mountain region for the fourth-lowest unemployment rate at 6.1 percent. West North Central, with 5 percent, was the region with the lowest jobless rate, while the highest unemployment rate by division was 7.4 percent, recorded in the Pacific region.