In a sign that Rhode Island finally, albeit slowly, is emerging from the recession, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly in January to 9.8 percent, from 9.9 percent in December.
The good news is that January represented the third consecutive month of job growth in the state. Hiring was led by the retail and restaurant industries. The jobless rate has dropped considerably since the high of 11.9 percent in January, 2010.
The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training says it is bringing back eleven previously laid off employees to help with the unemployment insurance call center.
Jobless Rhode Islanders have had to wait for hours, and in some cases days, to get a call through. The problem started in July when the Department was forced to lay off a third of its staffers due to reduced federal funding.