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Rhode Island unemployment rate falls to 7.7 percent in July, down .2 percentage points


PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.7 percent in July, down two-tenths of a percentage point from June, when it was tied with Mississippi as having the highest unemployment rate in the nation, according to new numbers released by the state Department of Labor and Training on Thursday.

It's the lowest the unemployment level has been in Rhode Island in six years, since June 2008. The rate has fallen nearly 2 percentage points in a year. In July 2013, the rate was 9.6 percent.

The state added 1,200 jobs since June, bringing the number of non-farm jobs to 477,800. That's the highest number since September 2008. The state added 5,600 jobs from July 2013.

The number of Rhode Islanders reporting they were unemployed fell by 1,100 from the previous month, the department said.

The rate in Rhode Island is still significantly higher than the unemployment rate in the U.S. as a whole. That stood at 6.2 percent in July, or 1.5 percentage points lower than in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island has had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation since 2008. It reached a high of 11.9 percent for four months in 2009 and 2010.

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