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Media Advisory

Rhode Island-Based Jobs up 2,500 from May; June Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.3 Percent (pdf)

July 18, 2018


The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2018 was 4.3 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the May rate of 4.4 percent. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point from the June 2017 rate of 4.4 percent.


RI Unemployment Rate
US Unemployment Rate
RI Job Count (in thousands)

June 2018


May 2017


June 2017



The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in June 2018, up two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down three-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

The number of unemployed RI residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment —was 24,000, down 800 from May. Over the year, the number of unemployed decreased by 300.

A total of 8,430 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in June 2018 *, down from 9,107 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 41.1 percent of the total unemployed.

The number of employed RI residents was 536,800, an increase of 1,600 from the May figure of 535,200. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 7,100 from June 2017 (529,700).

The RI labor force totaled 560,800 in June 2018, up 900 from May 2018 and up 6,800 from June 2017 (554,000). 


The Rhode Island economy continued an upward trend in June, as the nonfarm employment level of 502,400 was up 2,500 jobs from the revised May employment level of 499,900. June marks three consecutive months of job gains in Rhode Island, totaling 4,000 jobs or an average of 1,300 jobs added per month. The number of Rhode Island-based jobs are up 7,500 from June 2017.  

The Educational Services sector, which has reported job declines in four of the first six months of 2018, rebounded by adding 1,600 jobs in June. Despite the large over-the-month increase, Educational Services employment is down 400 over the year.

Through the addition of 500 jobs, the number of jobs in the state’s Accommodation & Food Services sector surpassed the fifty-thousand mark for the first time ever, as the job level stood at 50,100 in June. Employment within this sector is up by 1,200 from a year ago.

A peak employment level of 37,100 was established in the Financial Activities sector, as the number of jobs grew by 400 from May. Financial Activities employment is up 1,000 from June 2017.

The Health Care & Social Assistance, Construction and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sectors each added 200 jobs in June. Robust employment is evident in the Health Care & Social Assistance and Construction sectors, as the number of jobs in each sector is up 1,500 and 1,200, respectively, over the year. Employment in the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector increased by 300 from a year ago.

The Professional & Business Services, Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities and Information sectors all reported a gain of 100 jobs in June. Professional & Business Services (+1,900) and Manufacturing (+900) saw significant over-the-year job gains, followed by Transportation & Warehousing (+400). Employment in the Information sector is down 300 from June 2017.

Offsetting some of the June job gains was a loss of 500 jobs reported in the Retail Trade sector, the sector’s first job loss in 2018. The number of jobs in the Retail Trade sector is down 100 over the year. 

In addition, the Other Services and Wholesale Trade sectors each lost 200 jobs in June. Other Services employment is up 700 from a year ago, while Wholesale Trade employment is down 500 from a year ago.  

Government jobs were down 100 in June, while being down 300 from June 2017.

MANUFACTURING: In June 2018, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $19.35 per hour, up twelve cents from May 2018, and up forty cents from June 2017.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 41.2 hours per week in June, up four-tenths of an hour over the month, and up one and nine-tenths hours from a year ago.


METHODOLOGY: The unemployment figures are based largely on a survey of households in Rhode Island and measure the unemployment status of people who live in the state. Unemployment rates prior to 1976 are not recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as official since the methodology used at that time is not comparable to today’s methods. The establishment of employment figures is derived from a survey of businesses in Rhode Island and measures the number of jobs in the state. Rhode Island labor market information is available at www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi. Additional information on procedures for producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm BLS will be releasing all states’ April labor force data and job counts on May 18, 2018. DLT is scheduled to release the May 2018 labor force figures and job counts on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.



ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunities to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov

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