RI unemployment rate below US rate for first time since 2005

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The unemployment rate in Rhode Island has dropped below the national rate for the first time in more than 11 years.

The state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday that unemployment dipped to 4.7 percent in January, one-tenth of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.8 percent.

The last time unemployment was below the U.S. rate was May 2005.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says efforts to strengthen the state’s economy are paying off.

The state rate in January fell two-tenths of a percentage point from December and was down seven-tenths of a percentage point since January 2016.

The number of jobs in Rhode Island has grown by 4,600 since January 2016, and the number of unemployed residents has dropped by 3,900 in that same period.