Here's how unemployment in Washington County, Rhode Island compares

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February 13, 2024

Here's how unemployment in Washington County, Rhode Island compares

Washington County's unemployment rate in December was 2.6%—ranked #5 highest out of 5 in the state.

Nationally, unemployment has leveled with pre-COVID rates, measuring between 3.5% and 4% for most of the past two years. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed a 3.7% unemployment rate in January. Previously, unemployment skyrocketed to 14.7% at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, and those rates remained elevated through late 2021.

Though national unemployment has mostly normalized, local economies vary widely. Stacker used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to analyze unemployment in Washington County over time, and how it stacks up within Rhode Island and across the nation.

The unemployment rate in Washington County is 1.1 percentage points below the national level, and 0.6 percentage points below the state level. It ranks #5 among counties in Rhode Island—ranked first by the preliminary December 2023 unemployment rate, then breaking ties by the number of unemployed people. It trails behind Bristol County, with an unemployment rate of 2.7%, and has the lowest unemployment in the state.

In real terms, it means an estimated 1,816 of Washington County's approximately 70,612 working residents are out of a job at the moment. That's 33 more than last month and 464 more than a year ago. Some economists fret another recession may be on the horizon, which would drive unemployment up with business closures and layoffs.

This story was produced using automation across 3,100 counties, boroughs, and parishes, based on writing and data reporting by Paxtyn Merten.

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