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NH posts third-lowest jobless rate nationwide in May

BOSTON – New Hampshire’s unemployment rate in May may have been 4.8 percent, but it was the lowest rate in New England and the third-lowest in the country, according to the New England Regional Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New Hampshire’s jobless rate for May fell 0.1 percentage point, from 4.9 percent in April, the bureau said.

New England and state unemployment numbers for May were released Wednesday by the BLS New England Regional Office.

The unemployment rate in New England was reported to go unchanged in May at 7.9 percent. A year ago, the New England jobless rate stood at 8.5 percent.

The May national jobless rate also was essentially unchanged from April, when it stood at 9.1 percent. The national rate has decreased 0.5 percentage points since this time last year.

New Hampshire was one of four New England states to post unemployment rates significantly lower than the national rate for May. They were among 25 states in the country with lower-than-average unemployment rates.

Vermont (5.4 percent), Massachusetts (7.6 percent) and Maine (7.7 percent) also had lower-than-average unemployment rates.

Rhode Island’s May unemployment rate (10.9 percent) was the highest in the region and the third-highest in the nation. It was one of five states nationwide to post an unemployment rate significantly higher than the national average.

Four states posted statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from April, but none was in New England.

Over the past 12 months, however, New Hampshire (-1.3 percentage points) and Vermont (-0.9 percentage points) were among 20 states nationwide to post significant unemployment rate decreases.

Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or mgill@nashuatelegraph.com.