NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point in March to 8.7 percent, the lowest since September 2008, but the number of jobs was down.

The state Department of Labor and Training reported the new employment figures on Thursday.

The number of unemployed residents was down 1,100 from February's revised figure, to 48,500. Officials said that's the eighth straight month of decline and the lowest unemployment level since August 2008.

The size of Rhode Island's labor force was up 1,500 to 554,400. That's down 4,600 from a year ago.

The number of jobs in the state was also down 800 from the revised February estimate, to 475,800.

The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 6.7 percent, unchanged from February.

Rhode Island's jobless rate a year ago was 9.5 percent.


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