RI unemployment for August rises to 9.1 percent

Rhode Island's unemployment rate increased in August to 9.1 percent, according to numbers released Thursday by the state's Department of Labor and Training.

The new jobless rate is two-tenths of a percent higher than July's 8.9 percent figure.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate for August was down one-tenth of a point to 7.3 percent.

In Rhode Island the number of unemployed residents increased in August to 50,100 - 800 more than in July. Meanwhile, the state's labor force declined by 3,800 people over the month. Rhode Island's labor force has declined by 9,000 since August of last year.

The jobs data contained some good news about gains in retail trade employment. The state says clothing stores, grocers and other retailers in Rhode Island added 700 jobs from July to August.

Other sectors saw more modest growth. Government-sector jobs increased by 300 from July to August. Private colleges, restaurants and trade schools reported 400 new jobs.

Manufacturing jobs led declines, with 300 fewer jobs in August.

Rhode Island's unemployment rate was 10.4 percent a year ago.