Massachusetts unemployment rate

Aaron Read / RIPR

The latest Rhode Island job numbers are the usual mix of good and not-so-good.

While the rest of the country experienced strong job growth in October, Rhode Island did not. Total jobs were down 600 from the September number of 528,100. The long-beleaguered construction sector is finally picking up, adding 500 jobs in October, the largest gain in construction since April, 2006, when 700 jobs were added.

That was tamped down by declines in food services, government employment and manufacturing.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down to 8.7 percent in March, an improvement, but evidence that the state trails the region and most of the nation in economic activity.

The state Department of Labor and Training reports that new data shows the seasonally adjusted rate declined from 9 percent in February and is now at the lowest rate since September, 2008.

The number of Rhode Islanders who were working increased to 506,000 in March, a hike of 2,700 from February  statistics.