PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's unemployment rate dropped to 7.1% in March, down 0.2 percentage points from February, the state Department of Labor and Training said Thursday.

The U.S. unemployment rate in March was 6%.

Some 2,900 people entered the workforce in Rhode Island in March, but the state has 35,100 fewer jobs than in the same period last year at the very beginning of the pandemic.

Accommodations and food services saw the biggest job loss since March 2020, with 8,900 fewer jobs in those sectors in March. Health care and social assistance followed with 6,000 fewer jobs.

There were 503,400 employed residents in March and 38,200 unemployed Rhode Islanders, 1,000 fewer than in February.

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