RI Jobless Rate Hit 10.8 percent in December

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The unemployment rate in Rhode Island has shot up to 10.8 percent in December, marking the second month in a row that the number has soared.

The Department of Labor and Training said Friday that the jobless rate was up from 10.5 percent in November and 11.5 percent a year ago.

Overall, Rhode Island lost 600 positions from the previous month. Most of the losses came in the retail and construction industries The size of the state's labor force was up 1,500 in November, to 564,200, but that's 13,100 below a year ago.

The national unemployment rate is 8.5 percent. Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) called the jobless number “unacceptable” and vowed to continue efforts to resolve government financial crises and strengthen the state's business climate.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)