PROVIDENCE – The average unemployment rate in Rhode Island in 2017 was 4.5 percent, a 0.7 percentage point decline from the state’s 2016 average rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2017 Average Annual Summary report released Tuesday.
In 2017, annual average unemployment rates declined in 32 states, were unchanged in 18 states and increased in 12 states. The national jobless rate in 2017 was 4.4 percent, a 0.5 percentage point decline year over year. Hawaii reported the lowest unemployment rate in the United States at 2.4 percent. Puerto Rico had the highest average unemployment rate included in the report in 2017 at 10.8 percent.
Rhode Island’s employment-population ratio, which measures the “proportion of the civilian noninstituional population of ages 16 or older” that is working, increased 0.4 percentage points year over year to 61.5 percent in 2017. The national average was 60.1 percent in 2017. North Dakota had the highest employment-population ratio in the nation in 2017 at 69.6 percent. Puerto Rico had the lowest employment-population ratio in 2017, measured at 35.7 percent.
Massachusetts unemployment declined 0.2 percentage points year over year to average 3.7 percent in 2017. The Bay State’s employment-population ratio for 2017 was 63.1 percent, a 0.5 percentage point increase year over year.
Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.