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RI unemployment rate falls to 10.2 percent

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island's unemployment rate has dipped to its lowest level in nearly four years amid other encouraging economic signs.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday the jobless rate for December was 10.2 percent, down from 10.4 percent in November.

The number of Rhode Island-based jobs was up 1,200, to 458,800, from the revised November estimates. The professional and business services sector added the most positions.

The number of employed residents increased by 2,200, to 508,400, from the month before. The labor force also grew by 1,300, to 566,200.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said in his state-of-the-state address Wednesday that the state economy is on the rebound. A year ago December, Rhode Island's unemployment rate was 11 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate in December was 7.8 percent.