PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's unemployment rate dropped by two-tenths of a percentage point to 9 percent in February and the number of jobs in the state was up.

The state Department of Labor and Training announced the new employment numbers Thursday. They say last month's 9 percent jobless rate is the state's lowest since October 2008.

The number of Rhode Island jobs was up 1,500 from January, mostly because of gains in the professional and business services sector.

The number of unemployed residents was 49,700, down 800 from revised January figures.

The size of Rhode Island's labor force was up by 2,600 to 552,900 in February, but down 6,600 from a year ago.

The U.S. unemployment rate for February was 6.7 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from January.


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