Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell another two tenths of a point in September, to 10.5%, still second only to Nevada. More notable, though, is that the Ocean State led the nation in actual employment increase, and that the results for the country as a whole have rightly raised eye-brows. Not seasonally adjusted, September typically sees a decrease in employment, so this months results were not only historic, but unusual.
The first chart below shows Rhode Island’s trends in labor force (employed and looking for work) and employment since the beginning of the recession in January 2007. The second chart shows the labor force and employment pictures for Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut as each state’s current percentage of January 2007.