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Media Advisory

Rhode Island-Based Jobs Down 1,700 from December;
January Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.0 Percent (pdf)

March 7, 2019



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

Jan. 2019


Dec. 2018


Jan. 2018



The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2019 was 4.0 percent, unchanged from the revised December rate. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down four-tenths of a percentage point from the January 2018 rate of 4.4 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in January 2019, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month but down one-tenth of a percentage point over the year.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 22,300, up 100 from December. Over the year, the number of unemployed decreased by 2,000.

A total of 13,136 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in January 2019 *, an increase from the 13,072 filed a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 49.0 percent of the total unemployed.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 534,000, down 100 from December. Over the year, the number of employed Rhode Island residents was up 2,900 from January 2018 (531,100).

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 556,200 in January 2019, unchanged from December 2018, and up 800 from January 2018 (555,400). 



JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: In January, the number of Rhode Island-based jobs totaled 496,000, a decrease of 1,700 jobs from the revised December job count of 497,700. Since January 2018, jobs in the state are up 2,400.

In January, a loss of 1,300 jobs was reported in the Professional & Business Services sector, stemming from large job declines reported among landscaping companies. The number of jobs in the Professional & Business Services sector is unchanged from a year ago.

The Retail Trade sector lost 400 jobs in January, the first job loss within this sector since September. Over the year, the number of jobs in Retail Trade is up 500.

Both the Construction and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sectors lost 200 jobs in January. The Construction employment level in January was 19,300, the highest January employment level since 2008 (21,100). The number of jobs in the Construction sector is up 900 from January 2018, while the number of jobs in Arts, Entertainment & Recreations is down 1,100 during this period.

Lastly, a loss of 100 jobs was reported in of the Educational Services, Government, Financial Activities and Other Services sectors.

Wholesale Trade reported the largest job gain in January, adding 400 jobs from December. Employment within this sector is up 100 from a year ago.

The number of jobs in the Accommodation & Food Services rose by 200 in January, ending four consecutive months of job declines. Over the year, Accommodation & Food Services employment is down 300.

The Transportation & Utilities and Manufacturing sectors each added 100 jobs in January, with the number of jobs in Transportation & Utilities being up 400 from a year ago while Manufacturing jobs are down 800 from January 2018.

Employment in the Health Care & Social Assistance, Information and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged in January. Employment in all three sectors is up from last January. Health Care & Social Assistance employment is up 900 from last year, while employment in Information and Mining & Logging are up 100 each.

MANUFACTURING: In January 2019, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $19.34 per hour, up thirty cents from December 2018, and up thirty-four cents from January 2018.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.7 hours per week in January, down two and a half hours over the month, and down two 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 (BLS) 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’ January labor force data and job counts on March 11, 2019. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training is scheduled to release the February 2019 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2019.


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 website at www.dlt.ri.gov


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