New England Unemployment Rates Vary Greatly

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday the New England unemployment rate was at 6.7 percent in January, a slight drop from the previous month.

Individually, the states reported vastly different numbers. Vermont has the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 4 percent, while Rhode Island has the highest in the region and the country at 9.2 percent.

Mark Maggi is with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He says the variation is due to the different industries in each state.

“So states like Massachusetts which has a high percentage of jobs in healthcare and social assistance fields as well as education fields have fared a little bit better than states that might be dependent on manufacturing or construction or tourism or things like that,” Maggi says.

All six New England states have seen their unemployment rates decline over the past year.  As a region,  New England’s current unemployment rate is consistent with the national unemployment rate.