Rhode Island unemployment rates drops to 4.3 percent

NBC10 File Photo

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island's unemployment rate has dropped to 4.3 percent, its lowest in 16 years.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday the jobless rate for March dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from the February rate, to its lowest since March 2001.

The state also spent its second month below the national unemployment rate. February had marked the first time since May 2005 that Rhode Island's rate was below the national rate.

The national rate was 4.5 percent in March, down two-tenths of a percentage point from February.

The state also lost 700 jobs in March, ending two consecutive months of job gains.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo released the following statement on Rhode Island's latest jobs and unemployment data Thursday afternoon:

"Rhode Island's unemployment continues to trend downward, our labor force is growing, businesses are giving Rhode Island a fresh look and thousands more people are working today than two and a half years ago. Because of the investments we've made in education, workforce training and economic development, Rhode Island's economy is on the move. This month's jobs report, though, is a reminder that there is still a great deal of work left to do. The Rhode Island Promise Scholarship proposal and our proposed Rhode Island Manufacturing Initiative will help ensure that Rhode Islanders get the good-paying jobs Rhode Island businesses of all sizes are creating."

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