BOSTON – The unemployment rate for New England rose 0.1 percentage points in May to 6.9 percent, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday.
The jobless rate in New England, which is one of nine geographic divisions across the United States, was below the national average of 7.6 percent for the month. The national unemployment rate also rose 0.1 percent from April to May.
Year over year, the unemployment rate in New England fell 0.4 percentage points from 7.3 percent. Nationally, the jobless rate fell 0.6 percent in May during the same 12 month period.
Of the six New England states, Vermont had the lowest jobless rate in May at 4.1 percent, seasonally adjusted. Following Vermont were New Hampshire at 5.3 percent, Massachusetts at 6.6 percent and Maine at 6.8 percent, seasonally adjusted.
Connecticut at 8 percent and Rhode Island at 8.9 percent were both above the national average.
In Rhode Island in May, the civilian labor force shrank by 0.08 percent year over year, meaning that there were 500 fewer people in the Ocean State either employed or looking for work in the 12 months ended May 31.
The New England region as a whole saw its civilian labor force contract by 0.2 percent, or 19,000. All employment data for May 2013 was listed as “preliminary.”
Of the nine geographic divisions in the U.S., the Pacific division reported the highest jobless rate at 8.2 percent, and the West North Central division registered the lowest rate at 5.4 percent.
The Northeast region, which includes the six New England states as well as New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, had a jobless rate of 7.5 percent in May, unchanged from April, but a 0.7 percentage point drop from May 2012.