- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped in December to 5 percent.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday the jobless rate is down from the November rate of 5.3 percent.

In December 2015, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

The department says the state lost 1,000 jobs since November, ending two previous months of robust job gains. Half of the jobs lost were in health care and social assistance.

The local economy generated 3,600 jobs in the past year.

The number of residents who were unemployed decreased by 1,500 from the November figure, to 27,800 people.

Nationally, the U.S. unemployment rate in December was 4.7 percent, an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point from November.

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