AP NEWS

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate drops to 3.5%

December 19, 2019 GMT

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in November.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday that November’s rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point from October and half of a percentage point from last November’s 4% unemployment.

The drop mirrors the national unemployment rate, which also dropped one-tenth of a percentage point, from 3.6% in October to 3.5% in November.

State officials say the number of unemployed Rhode Island residents was 19,600 in November, down 300 from October. The number of unemployed residents has decreased by 2,600 in 2019.

The number of employed residents, meanwhile, is up 1,500 from October, to 538,000. That’s an increase of 3,900 from last November.

State labor officials say Rhode Island has so far added 9,000 jobs in 2019, for an average gain of 800 jobs a month.

The number of Rhode Islanders filing for unemployment benefits increased by about 200 from last November, to 6,636 individuals.