RI Sees Largest Year-Over-Year Employment Decline

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According to a release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Rhode Island led the nation in employment decline from April 2011 to April 2012.  From March to April of this year, Rhode Island was one of only five states to experienced an increase in unemployment, along with Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, and Utah.

The month-to-month change also brings RI closer to the top of the unemployment chart, a status that it has avoided thus far.  Rhode Island’s move from 11.1% seasonally adjusted unemployment in March to 11.2% brings the state significantly closer to Nevada, which dropped from 12.0% to 11.7%.  It also expands RI’s lead over California, which dropped from 11.0% to 10.9%.

Looking at Rhode Island’s neighbors — with the three states almost indistinguishable on many maps — Connecticut held at 7.7% unemployment.  Meanwhile, Massachusetts improved from 6.5% to 6.3%.

As the following chart shows, RI’s labor force and employment trends continue the precipitous slide that they began with the new year.

Rhode Island Labor Force and Employment, January 2007 to April 2012