The unemployment rate in Rhode Island has fallen for the first time in nearly three years, dropping slightly to 12.9 percent in October.
The state Department of Labor and Training said on Friday that the state lost 1,100 jobs last month even as the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of one percent, from 13 percent. It is the first monthly drop since January 2007.
Spokeswoman Laura Hart says officials are cautiously hopeful the economy is stabilizing.
But the fact that the state is still losing jobs may indicate that some people have stopped looking for work. The data only take into account people actively seeking a job.
Rhode Island had the third worst unemployment rate in the country in October, behind Michigan and Nevada.