Rhode Island unemployment rises to 5.6 percent

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s unemployment rate rose to 5.6 percent in August.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday that the jobless rate increased by one tenth of a percentage point from the July rate.

The U.S. unemployment rate held steady from July to August at 4.9 percent.

Rhode Island’s rate of unemployed was down two tenths of a percentage point from a year earlier, when it was 5.8 percent. About 30,900 residents were unemployed last month.

The department says the state lost 700 jobs in August, but has 5,800 more jobs than a year ago.

Many of the lost jobs were in the professional and business services sector. A gain in health care jobs helped offset some of the job losses.

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