- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s unemployment rate ticked down in January to 9.2 percent, and the number of jobs was up sizably, state labor officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Labor and Training said the January jobless rate was down one-tenth of 1 percentage point from December and is at its lowest since November 2008.

The number of Rhode Island jobs was up 3,800 from revised December figures to 475,000. The educational services sector added 1,600 jobs, while the health care and social assistance sector gained 700, according to the report.

The number of unemployed residents was down 500 from revised figures, to 50,600, the lowest level since October 2008. Over the year, the number of unemployed residents is down by 3,200.

Meanwhile, the size of the labor force was up 200 to 550,300 in January. Still, the workforce has shrunk by 9,700 from a year ago.



Gov. Lincoln Chafee has said the slow economic recovery in Rhode Island has been frustrating, but he cites progress.

Rhode Island’s December jobless rate of 9.3 percent was the country’s highest. The state’s average 2013 rate - 9.5 percent - was the second highest in the U.S, after Nevada.

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