Rhode Island's Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point in August to 5.8%, and the state has now regained 73% of the jobs lost at the start of the coronavirus pandemic when many businesses were required to close, state labor officials said Thursday.

The August unemployment rate was slightly higher than the adjusted July rate of 5.7%, but well below the August 2020 state rate of 12.6%, the state Department of Labor and Training said in a statement.

The national unemployment rate was 5.2% in August.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was up slightly to 30,900 in August.

The state lost 108,000 jobs in March and April of 2020 at the start of the pandemic, but has since regained 78,700, the agency said.

The state economy has now reported eight consecutive months of job gains totaling 20,100 jobs, or an average of 2,500 jobs per month.

The accommodation and food services, professional and business services, and construction and retail trade sectors saw the most job gains in August.

Manufacturing had the most job losses in the month.