R.I. job­less rate re­mains steady

Pawtucket Times - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

PROV­I­DENCE (AP) — Rhode Is­land's un­em­ploy­ment rate has kept steady at 4.3 per­cent.

The state Depart­ment of La­bor and Train­ing said Thurs­day that the job­less rate for Au­gust was the same as in July. The state's un­em­ploy­ment rate was be­low the na­tional rate of 4.4 per­cent in Au­gust, which was up one-tenth of a per­cent­age point from July.

Rhode Is­land's rate was down 1 per­cent­age point from a year ago.

The num­ber of jobs re­mained un­changed in Au­gust from the re­vised July em­ploy­ment fig­ure, 499,700. A loss of 500 jobs in the gov­ern­ment sec­tor was off­set by a gain of 500 pri­vate sec­tor jobs.

The num­ber of jobs over­all was up 9,300 from a year ago, in­clud­ing 3,200 jobs in con­struc­tion.

Demo­cratic Gov. Gina Rai­mondo on Thurs­day praised the growth in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, but said the state needs to con­tinue its ef­forts to make sure ev­ery res­i­dent has the skills to com­pete in the chang­ing econ­omy.

"There is a lot of en­cour­ag­ing news in this jobs re­port, but also clear sig­nals that we have to keep work­ing to strengthen the mid­dle class," she said in a state­ment.

The south­ern New Eng­land re­tail chain Benny's an­nounced last week that it's clos­ing its 31 stores.

Alex­ion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. an­nounced Tues­day that it's re­lo­cat­ing its head­quar­ters from New Haven, Con­necti­cut, to Bos­ton and cut­ting 20 per­cent of its global work­force. The cuts amount to about 600 po­si­tions, and the clo­sure of a Smith­field man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity.

Rhode Is­land's la­bor force to­taled 556,400 in Au­gust, down 600 from July and up 3,900 from Au­gust 2016.

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