Rhode Island’s unemployment rate falls to 5.8% in May
CRNASTON, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s unemployment rate, which surged to more than 17% in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, was down to 5.8% in May, the state Department of Labor and Training announced Thursday.
The May rate was down half of a percentage point from the April rate of 6.3%. The May 2020 rate was 12.9%.
Rhode Island’s 5.8% unemployment rate matched the national rate, the state agency reported.
The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents was down to 31,200 in May — 2,600 fewer than in April — and the state has added jobs for five consecutive months.
The professional and business services; manufacturing; health care; and accommodation and food services sectors all added jobs in May. The retail and construction sectors lost the most jobs last month.
The state has now recovered 64% of the roughly 108,000 jobs lost in March and April last year when many businesses were ordered to close or operate with restrictions because of the pandemic, the agency reported.
Currently, there are 23,800 fewer state residents participating in the labor force than there were prior to the start of the pandemic.