PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ The unemployment rate in New England ticked down in February to 7 percent, well below the national average.

The New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday that the average jobless rate in the six-state region fell one-tenth of 1 percentage point from January.

A year ago, the New England rate was 7.2 percent.

The national rate in February was 7.7 percent.

That’s down six-tenths of 1 percentage point from a year ago.

Three states had February rates significantly below the U.S.: Vermont’s was 4.4 percent, New Hampshire’s was 5.8 percent and Massachusetts’ was 6.5 percent. Maine’s rate of 7.3 percent was also below the national rate.

Rhode Island and Connecticut, meanwhile, had higher rates, 9.4 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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