RI releases unemployment stats for May

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Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has fallen slightly, the first time in three months it has dropped.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Friday the jobless rate fell two-tenths of a point, to 11 percent, in May.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 495,400, up 1,300 over April’s revised figures. The size of the state’s labor force was also up, to 556,800. Officials said that was the first increase since April 2010.

Still, the state shed 200 jobs, with the bulk of the losses in the construction sector.

The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly in May to 8.2 percent.

The Rhode Island labor department is itself expecting to lay off between 60 and 70 workers in the coming fiscal year.

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