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Rhode Island's 7.9 percent unemployment rate tied with Mississippi for country's highest

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island's unemployment rate of 7.9 percent is now tied for the worst in the country with Mississippi.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released unemployment rates for all 50 states on Friday. Rhode Island has had the highest rate in the U.S. for months.

The state Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday that the Rhode Island rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point from May to its lowest level since July 2008. That was the last time it was under 8 percent.

The number of jobs was up 5,900 from January through June, and state officials said the economy had had its best six-month start in years.

The U.S. unemployment rate in June was 6.1 percent.

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