PROVIDENCE – At 4.5 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in Rhode Island and Connecticut in January were the two worst performers in the six New England states, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Monday.
The Ocean State’s rate represented a 0.1 percentage point decline from the January 2017 rate, while Connecticut saw a drop from 4.9 percent in the same year-ago period.
Leading New England with the lowest jobless rate was New Hampshire, at 2.6 percent, a drop from 2.8 percent a year earlier. Vermont posted a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, from 3.1 percent in January 2017, while Maine had a 3 percent rate, a fall from 3.4 percent, while Massachusetts had a jobless rate of 3.5 percent, a decline from 3.9 percent a year earlier.
The U.S. unemployment rate in January stood at 4.1 percent, 0.7 percentage points less than 12 month previous. Sixteen states had jobless rates that were lower than a year earlier, while 34 and the District of Columbia had little or no change, the BLS said. Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont all had rates that were statistically significantly less than the U.S. rate.
Over the 12-month period through January, Rhode Island saw its labor force increase 0.7 percent to 556,601, the largest percentage increase in New England. Other states’ changes:
- Massachusetts, 0.4 percent increase to 3.7 million
- Maine, 0.2 percent increase to 699,732
- Vermont, 0.06 percent increase to 345,146
- New Hampshire, 0.05 percent increase to 746,673
- Connecticut, 0.7 percent decline to 1.9 million