Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell one tenth of a point in October, to 10.4%, still second worst in the nation, after Nevada. However, for the second month in a row, the Ocean State led the nation in actual employment increase. While the data offers an encouraging picture, the boom in jobs over the past two months has been so historically large that it ought to be treated with caution until other economic indicators begin to substantiate the results.
The first chart below shows Rhode Island’s trends in labor force (employed and looking for work) and employment since the beginning of the recession in January 2007. The second chart shows the labor force and employment pictures for Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut as each state’s current percentage of January 2007.