By Denise Perreault
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – The state Department of Labor and Training announced Friday that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 10.8 percent, an increase of three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s rate of 10.5 percent.
This marks the second consecutive monthly increase. However, the December 2011 rate was down seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous December’s 11.5 percent, representing the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases in the state’s unemployment rate.
The national unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December, compared to 8.7 percent the month before and 9.4 percent in December 2010.
The number of unemployed residents in December, 60,800, increased by 1,600 people compared with November, and was the highest level since July 2011. During the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 5,400.
The number of people receiving unemployment insurance (which differs from the state jobless rate due to eligibility requirements) was 32,682 in December, an increase of 2,466 from November but a decrease of 4,459 from December 2010.
The number of employed Rhode Island residents was unchanged from November figures, remaining at 503,400 in December - a drop of 7,700 from December 2010.
The labor force in the state totaled 564,200 in December, up 1,500 from November but down 13,100 from December 2010. The increase, DLT said, was due entirely to the increase in the number of unemployed residents and marks the third month in a row that the labor force has increased after nine consecutive months of decreases.
Jobs based in Rhode Island totaled 458,700 in December, reflecting a loss of 600 jobs from the revised November employment estimate of 459,300, and marking five consecutive months of declines.