R.I. had 2nd highest unemployment in N.E. in Nov.

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island had the second highest November seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in New England, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.

Rhode Island’s 4.3 percent unemployment was better only than Connecticut’s 4.6 percent in the six-state region.

New Hampshire reported the lowest unemployment rate in New England at 2.7 percent for November, followed by Vermont at 2.9 percent, Maine at 3.3 percent and Massachusetts at 3.6 percent.

Rhode Island did, however, have the largest percentage point decline in unemployment year over year, falling 0.7 percentage points from 5 percent in November 2016. The second greatest percentage point decline in unemployment in New England occurred in Maine, where unemployment fell 0.5 percentage points year over year to 3.3 percent.

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The national unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points year over year to 4.1 percent. Unemployment rates declined in 23 states from November 2016.

The highest unemployment rate in the United States in November was in Puerto Rico, where unemployment was 10.8 percent. The highest state unemployment in the United States was in Alaska, where unemployment was 7.2 percent in November. The lowest unemployment rate in the country was in Hawaii, at 2 percent for November.

Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted labor force grew 0.65 percent year over year to 554,721 civilians.

The Ocean State’s number of employees on nonfarm payroll also rose 1.1 percent year over year to 497,100 workers.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased year over year in 27 states in the U.S.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.