WASHINGTON – Rhode Island posted the third-highest unemployment rate in the country in July, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Monday. The Ocean State also experienced the third-largest drop in unemployment over the year.
The Rhode Island jobless rate was 8.9 percent in July. Only Nevada, at 9.5 percent, and Illinois, at 9.2 percent, had higher unemployment rates. Unemployment in North Carolina also stood at 8.9 percent.
Rhode Island was also one of only 13 states to see a significant change in unemployment rate from July 2012 to July 2013. The rate in the Ocean State dropped by 1.6 percentage points from 10.5 percent in July 2012, the third-largest drop in the country. California’s rate decreased 1.9 percentage points and Nevada’s dropped 1.7 percentage points, while Florida also experienced a 1.6 point drop.
New England as a whole had one of the lowest regional unemployment rates. At 7.2 percent, the New England rate was slightly lower than the national rate of 7.4 percent and significantly lower than Rhode Island’s rate.
Several other New England states had even lower unemployment rates in July, with Vermont standing at 4.6 percent, New Hampshire at 5.1 percent and Maine at 6.9 percent. Massachusetts was on par with the regional rate with 7.2 percent unemployment, while Connecticut was slightly higher at 8.1 percent.