Rhode Island’s unemployment rate stopped its incremental improvement in November, marking the first month since April that it didn’t fall. However, for most of that period, the drop was attributable to the fact that more people were leaving the labor force than losing their employment. In November, by contrast, the steady rate results from a labor force increase that was nearly as large as the employment increase.
That said, the first chart that follows shows that the unusually large gains by both metrics — which placed Rhode Island inexplicably at the head of the nation for employment gains —lost steam in November. Meanwhile, the Ocean State remains well behind its January 2007 numbers — still significantly behind both Massachusetts and Connecticut, despite several months of employment free fall in Connecticut.
Nationwide, Rhode Island is one of the two remaining states with unemployment rates above 10%, with the other, Nevada, rapidly making up the ground between them.