R.I. has highest unemployment rate in N.E. in April

RHODE ISLAND had the highest unemployment rate in new England in April at 17%. / COURTESY BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
RHODE ISLAND had the highest unemployment rate in new England in April at 17%. / COURTESY BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island had the highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April of all New England states at 17%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday.

The Ocean State’s 13.4 percentage point rise year over year ranked second highest in the region, behind New Hampshire’s 13.8 percentage point increase in that time.

Rhode Island’s labor force declined 4% year over year, while its unemployed residents increased 350.1% in that time.

COVID-19-related shutdowns pushed national unemployment rates markedly higher in April, the first month of unemployment data to reflect massive job losses in the country.The United States unemployment rate rose from 3.6% in April 2019 to 14.7% for the month.

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Other New England unemployment data in April:

  • New Hampshire: Increased 13.8 percentage points year over year to 16.3%. The state’s labor force declined 6% year over year. The number of unemployed increased 502.5% in that time.
  • Vermont: Increased 13.3 percentage points year over year to 15.6%. The state’s labor force increased 1.8% year over year. The number of unemployed people in the state increased 578.1% year over year.
  • Massachusetts: Increased 12.1 percentage points to 15.1%. The state’s labor force declined 10.3% year over year. The number of unemployed increased 353.4% in that time.
  • Maine: Increased 7.1 percentage points year over year to 10.6%. The state’s labor force declined 3.6% year over year. The number of unemployed in the state increased 233.6% year over year.
  • Connecticut: Increased 4.2 percentage points to 7.9%. Connecticut had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, as well as the smallest percentage point increase year over year in April. The state also saw a 5.9% decline in its labor force in that time. The number of unemployed in the state increased 101.3% year over year.

Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in the nation in April at 28.2%, a 24.2 percentage point increase from one year prior.

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

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