PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s unemployment rate increased to 5.4% in October as the state lost 2,100 jobs, according to the state Department of Labor and Training.

The October unemployment rate was up from the September rate of 5.2% and the year-ago rate of 7.3%.

The national rate for October was 4.6%.

The overall number of nonfarm jobs in the state dropped to 479,200 in October, reflecting a loss of 2,100 jobs from the revised September job count. These are the first job losses since December 2020, the department said. The government sector saw the most job losses.

The state lost about 108,000 jobs in March and April of 2020 when many industries were shut down or severely restricted to help control the spread of the coronavirus, but the state’s economy has recovered 80,000, or 74%, of the jobs lost during the shutdown, the department said.

Three sectors — construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade — have recovered all of the jobs lost during the economic shutdown, while the transportation and utilities sector has regained nearly all of the jobs it lost.

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