Rhode Island’s unemployment rate down slightly in June

July 15, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell slightly last month when the state added about 1,700 jobs, the state Department of Labor and Training said on Thursday.

The unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.9% in June, down from 6% in May, the agency said in a release. The unemployment rate in June 2020 was 10.9%.

June’s state rate matched the nation’s rate.

With the 1,700 jobs added in June, the state added 13,200 jobs in the first six months of the year, the agency said.

The state has now regained 67% of the roughly 108,000 jobs lost during the pandemic shutdown.

One of the work sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic — arts, entertainment and recreation — had the biggest gains last month with 1,400 jobs as golf courses and marinas hired for the summer and restrictions on fitness centers were eased.

The retail, health care, government and construction sectors also added jobs.

In retail, job gains were reported in grocery and department stores as well as at building material and garden supply centers.

The professional and business services, waste services, and accommodation and food services sectors all lost jobs in June.