PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island labor department expects its reporting of the state's September unemployment rate to be delayed because of the federal government shutdown.

A state Department of Labor and Training spokeswoman says the new rate is not expected to be released on schedule Oct. 17.

Laura Hart says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ultimately calculates all state unemployment rates. She says that because of the shutdown the state labor department doesn't have access to the employment data it needs or access to the Bureau of Labor Statistics programs into which it inputs the numbers.

Only federal employees deemed essential are working during the shutdown.

Rhode Island's August jobless rate of 9.1 percent is the third highest in the country.

The monthly unemployment rate, over time, helps guide state policy.

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