Rhode Island unemployment rate drops to 6.5 percent

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The unemployment rate in Rhode Island in January dropped to 6.5 percent, the lowest rate in nearly seven years.

The state Department of Labor and Training announced on Thursday that the unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point since December and 2.1 percentage points since January 2014.

Department officials say the unemployment rate in Rhode Island has not been this low since February 2008.

The national unemployment rate in January was lower than the state’s at 5.7 percent. Rhode Island has had one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation for years.

The report comes on the heels of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s announcement that her first state budget proposal for the fiscal year will focus on job creation. Raimondo is delivering her first budget address to lawmakers Thursday.

Gov. Raimondo will give her first budget address to the General Assembly Thursday at 7 p.m. Watch it live on Eyewitness News and streaming on WPRI.com.

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