work force

R.I. jobless rate declines to 10.5%

JOB SEEKER Judith Meza Vazquez, second right, waits in line to have her resume reviewed at a career enhancement conference.
Posted 10/21/11

PROVIDENCE – The jobless rate in Rhode Island dropped one tenth of a percentage point from August to September and now stands at 10.5 percent, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Friday.

The 58,800 Rhode Island residents actively looking for work in September was 800 fewer than in August and represented the 18th consecutive monthly decline, according to the labor department. When compared to September 2010, the number of jobless Rhode Islanders is down 7,600 people.

Unemployment in Rhode Island remains above the national average, which was at 9.1 percent for September.

Despite the drop in the unemployment rate, the state actually lost 1,000 jobs from August to September and now stands at 560,400. The state is down 16,300 jobs from September 2010.

The decrease in the number of jobs combined with decline in the number of people looking for work reduced the state’s total labor force to the lowest level since May of 2005, the labor department said.

The loss of jobs was led by the education sector, which was down 1,200 in September. There were 800 fewer government jobs for the month.

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