R.I. still has 2nd-highest jobless rate in region despite sharp Y/Y decline

RHODE ISLAND tied for the second-largest percentage point decline in jobless rate in the nation in August, but still has one of the highest unemployment rates in New England. / AP FILE PHOTO/ELAINE THOMPSON

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island continued to have the second-highest unemployment rate in New England in August at 5.8%, higher than the national rate of 5.2%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

Rhode Island’s jobless rate in July was 5.7%, and 12.6% in August 2020. Despite the unemployment rate edging up in August month to month, the Ocean State’s year-over-year decline in unemployment rate in August tied with Nevada as second largest in the nation, falling 6.8 percentage points.

Rhode Island was one of three New England states that saw a small rise in unemployment rates from July to August, while two state’s saw their unemployment rate hold steady and one, Connecticut, saw a decline. All six states in the region saw declines in unemployment rates year over year.

Other New England unemployment rates in August:

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  • Connecticut: 7.2%. A decline from 7.3% in July and 8.4% one year prior.
  • Massachusetts: 5%, a rise from 4.9% in July and a decline from 9.3% in August 2020.
  • Maine: 4.9%, level with July and a decline from 5.2% in August 2020.
  • New Hampshire: 3%, a rise from 2.9% in July and a decline from 6.6% in August 2020.
  • Vermont: 3%, level with one month prior and a decline from 5.4% in August 2020.

The national jobless rate in August declined 0.2 percentage points from July and was 3.2 percentage points lower than in August 2020.

Hawaii had the largest year over year decline in jobless rate of all states, dropping 7.1 percentage points year to 7%.

Month to month, Arizona and Louisiana saw the largest percentage point decline of all states, both falling 0.4 percentage points from July to August.

Nevada had the highest jobless rate in the country in August at 7.7%, followed by California at 7.5% and New York at 7.4%. Nebraska had the lowest rate among all states at 2.2%, followed by South Carolina at 2.9%, and Vermont and New Hampshire, each with a jobless rate of 3%.

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