By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Contributing Writer
PROVIDENCE – Unemployment claims in Rhode Island are down for the second year in a row during the second week of March, according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.
There were a total of 37,255 unemployment insurance claims in the Ocean State during the week, a decline of 11 percent from the 42,135 open claims during that same period in 2011. The 2012 numbers were down 26 percent from the 50,304 open claims in 2010.
The downward trend does not necessarily denote good news for job-stricken Rhode Islanders, according to a representative from the state’s unemployment office.
“At this point, we’re just seeing a drop in part because the unemployment rate has gone down from its high and in part because people are exhausting all benefits available,” Laura Hart, communications manager for the DLT, told Providence Business News.
In addition, Rhode Island had one of the biggest decreases in the nation for the number of unemployment benefits sought during the week ended March 3, according to the Associated Press.
The number of unemployment claims filed in Rhode Island was down 1,071 from the prior week due to fewer layoffs in business services and manufacturing, according to the AP. Rhode Island was second in nation to Massachusetts, which showed a 2,974 drop in unemployment claims from the previous week due to fewer layoffs in school bus transportation and food services.