Updated August 29 at 7:42am

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work force

R.I. unemployment third highest in nation

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PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island had the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation — 10.8 percent — in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s unemployment rate declined from last month’s 10.9 percent and last June’s 11.6 percent. But 1,500 jobs were lost this June, bringing the total labor force to 567,100 and nonfarm payroll employment to 462,400.

Only Nevada, 12.4 percent, and California, 11.8 percent, had higher unemployment rates last month. Florida, South Carolina, Michigan and Washington D.C.’s rates also surpassed the national 9.2 percent unemployment rate.

The lowest unemployment rates belonged to North Dakota, 3.2 percent; Nebraska, 4.1 percent; and South Dakota, 4.8 percent.

Four New England states had unemployment rates below the national average while Connecticut matched it.

New Hampshire has the fourth-lowest unemployment in the country, at 4.9 percent, and Vermont ranks sixth-lowest at 5.5 percent. Massachusetts and Maine have 7.6 percent and 7.8 percent unemployment, respectively.

Among the bureau's nine geographic divisions, New England had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country, at 7.8 percent, only higher than the West North Central Midwest, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.

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