Perspective: I highly recommend that persons consider not just looking at data like this by focusing on the change from one month to the next (called month-to-month, or M/M). Very often it gets revised, so what we think happened this month ends up being changed, for better or worse, the next month. While it is useful (albeit fleeting) to look at month-to-month change, it is preferable to consider both what happened compared to a year ago (called year-over-year, or Y/Y) and the one-month change.
Unemployment Rate: Looking at Rhode Island's unchanged (M/M) unemployment rate in May, 10.9%, this was well below its level last May's value of 11.7%. However, our state's labor force fell over this period, by a number roughly equivalent to the decline in the number of unemployed. Conclusion: the "improvement" in our state's jobless rate from a year ago was largely due to unemployed Rhode Islanders dropping out of the labor force which statistically lead to their no longer being counted when the rate was calculated.
Another point I need to make concerns an extreme rarity that occurred with the May data. Unemployment data along with the number of working Rhode Island residents comes from the Household Survey. Forgive me as I provide the basic labor market identity: