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RI unemployment rate ticks up to 8.9 percent

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island's unemployment rate ticked up in May — its first increase since July 2011 — but the size of the labor force grew.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday that the jobless rate rose to 8.9 percent, from 8.8 percent in April.

The size of the labor force was up 600, to 558,900, from the month before. The number of employed residents was up 400, to 509,300.

Still, the state lost 200 jobs from the revised April estimate of 467,100. Officials said the educational services sector saw a drop of 1,100 jobs fueled by larger than usual losses at colleges and universities.

The U.S. jobless rate in May was 7.6 percent.

The unemployment rate in Rhode Island a year ago was 10.6 percent.