Updated March 27 at 12:27am

New England’s unemployment rate drops to 7.1%


WASHINGTON – New England’s unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged in February, dropping to 7.1 percent compared with 7.2 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics announced Friday.

Year-over-year, New England’s unemployment rate dropped 0.9 percentage points from 8 percent in February 2011. Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped 0.8 percentage points to 8.3 percent.

Across the region, the jobless rate stood at its lowest point since January 2009.

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points from 10.9 percent in January to 11 percent in February.

The Ocean State had the highest jobless rate among the New England states, the second-highest jobless rate in the nation – behind Nevada – and was among six states and the District of Columbia with unemployment rates significantly higher than the national average.

Year-over-year, the Ocean State’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points from February 2011 to February 2012.

Comparatively, the national unemployment rate dropped 0.7 percentage points from February 2011 to February 2012.


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