New England’s unemployment rate stays at lowest level in two years

Posted March 27, 2012, at 11:53 a.m.
Last modified March 28, 2012, at 4:36 p.m.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — New England’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in January, at its lowest level in two years.

The New England office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the regional jobless rate was 7.2 percent, the same as in December and nine-tenths of a percentage point lower than a year ago.

Rhode Island was the only state in New England that had an unemployment rate higher than the national average in January. It was 10.9 percent that month, and ticked back up to 11 percent in February.

The average jobless rate in New England in 2011 was 7.7 percent, while Rhode Island’s rate was 11.3 percent.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has called the state rate unacceptable.