U.S. Markets closed

RI's unemployment rate falls to 9.4 percent

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell sharply last month to its lowest level since December 2008, but the state lost thousands of jobs.

The Department of Labor and Training said Thursday that February's jobless rate was 9.4 percent, down from 9.8 percent the month before. The number of employed residents was up by 1,300, to 508,200.

But the number of Rhode Island-based jobs was 465,500, a loss of 2,600 from revised January estimates. Over half of the lost positions were in the accommodation and food services sector.

The size of the labor force was also down 600, to 561,200, in February.

The U.S. jobless rate in February was 7.7 percent.

In January, Rhode Island was tied with California for having the highest unemployment rate in the country.