BLS: R.I. unemployment rate second highest in N.E.

RHODE ISLAND'S unemployment rate in May was the second highest rate in New England. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/TIM BOYLE
RHODE ISLAND'S unemployment rate in May was the second highest rate in New England. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/TIM BOYLE

PROVIDENCE – The 3.6% unemployment rate in Rhode Island in May was the second highest in New England, ahead of Connecticut, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.

The Ocean State’s unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage points year over year, the third-fastest rate decline in the region. Maine was the only state in New England that did not have a unemployment rate decline year over year in May.

New England unemployment rates in May:

  • Vermont: 2.1%, a 0.6 percentage point decline year over year
  • New Hampshire: 2.4%, a 0.2 percentage point decline year over year
  • Massachusetts: 3%, a 0.5 percentage point decline year over year
  • Maine: 3.3%, no change from one year prior
  • Rhode Island: 3.6%, a 0.4 percentage point decline year over year
  • Connecticut: 3.8%, a 0.4 percentage point decline year over year

Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation in May, and the largest decline year over year, tied with Delaware. The only unemployment rate increase in the nation was in Hawaii, increasing 0.5 percentage points to 2.8%.

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Nonfarm payrolls increased in all six New England states, with Rhode Island reaching 498,700, an increase from 496,600 one year earlier.

Read a full breakdown of May employment figures for Rhode Island here.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. You may reach him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.