R.I. unemployment second highest in New England in March

RHODE ISLAND unemployment in March was the second highest in New England. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/JEFF KOWALSKY
RHODE ISLAND unemployment in March was the second highest in New England. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/JEFF KOWALSKY

PROVIDENCE – Seasonally adjusted Rhode Island unemployment declined to 3.8% in March, while the number of employed Rhode Islanders, the unemployed and the civilian labor force all declined, as detailed in Thursday’s jobs report from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The unemployment rate in the Ocean State was the second highest in the region, only lower than Connecticut by one-tenth of a percentage point, based on national figures provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

The 0.4 percentage-point decline in Rhode Island over the year was the third-fastest rate decline in the region, tied with Vermont, behind Massachusetts and Connecticut, where unemployment rates declined 0.5 percentage points year over year in March. Maine was the only New England state that saw its unemployment rate increase.

Read a full breakdown of Rhode Island’s March job figures from the DLT here.

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New England unemployment rates in March:

  • Rhode Island: 3.8%, a 0.4 percentage-point decline year over year
  • Vermont: 2.3%, a 0.4 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: 3.4%, a 0.2 percentage-point increase year over year
  • Connecticut: 3.9%, a 0.5 percentage-point decline year over year

New England state year-over-year job figures from March:

  • Rhode Island: The labor force declined 0.3% to 554,052 workers; the number of unemployed in the state declined 9.9% to 21,158, while the number of nonfarm jobs declined 0.2% to 494,900
  • Connecticut: The labor force increased 1.6% to 1.9 million; the number of unemployed declined 11.1% to 74,133, while the number of nonfarm workers increased 0.4% to 1.7 million
  • Maine: The labor force declined 0.2% to 697,636; the number of unemployed increased 4.9% to 23,561, while the number of nonfarm workers increased 0.5% to 632,800
  • Massachusetts: The labor force increased 1.8% to 3.8 million; the number of unemployed declined 15% to 113,755 people, while the number of nonfarm workers increased 0.8% to 3.7 million
  • New Hampshire: Labor force increased 0.9% to 766,541; the number of unemployed declined 9% to 18,318 people, while the number of nonfarm jobs increased 1.1% to 687,600
  • Vermont: Labor force declined 0.2% to 345,837; the number of unemployed individuals declined 15.2% to 7,972, while nonfarm workers grew 0.3% to 316,600

Nationally, the lowest unemployment rates were in North Dakota and Vermont at 2.3%. Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.5%. The United States unemployment rate in March was 3.8%.

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