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Rhode Island-Based Jobs Increased 2,400 from September;
October Unemployment Rate Remains at 3.6 Percent (pdf)

November 14, 2019



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

Oct 2019


Sept 2019


Oct 2018



CRANSTON, R.I. - The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 3.6 percent, unchanged from September, the Department of Labor and Training announced Thursday. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down four-tenths of a percentage point from the October 2018 rate of 4.0 percent.  

The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in October 2019, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and down two-tenths 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 19,900, down 100 from September. Over the year, the number of unemployed decreased by 2,200. 

A total of 5,739 individuals filed for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in October 2019[1]*, a decrease from the 6,434 filed a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 35.5 percent of the total unemployed. 

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 536,500, up 1,200 from September. Over the year, the number of employed Rhode Island residents was up 2,400 from October 2018 (534,100). 

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 556,300 in October 2019, up 1,000 from September 2019 and up 100 from October 2018 (556,200). 

Rhode Island-Based Jobs  

Nonfarm payrolls in Rhode Island responded with strong growth in October, following a loss of 600 jobs in September, the first over-the-month loss since January. The state's job count in October stood at 505,800, up 2,400 from the revised September count of 503,400. Over the year, Rhode Island-based jobs are up 8,900. 

Combined, the Professional & Business Services (+900) and the Accommodation & Food Services (+800) sectors added 1,700 jobs in October. The Professional & Business Services sector has reported five consecutive months of job growth totaling 3,100 jobs. The growth has been fueled by gains reported in the Administrative & Waste Services subsector. The Accommodation & Food Services sector regained nearly all the 900 jobs that it lost in August (-400) and September (-500). The number of jobs in Accommodation & Food Services is up 1,200 from October 2018, while jobs in Professional & Business Services are up 1,100. 

Fall festivities provided a boost to the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector, by adding 500 jobs in October. Jobs in the  Construction sector increased by 400 jobs in October, after shedding a total of 500 jobs over the two previous months. The job counts in Arts, Entertainment & RecreatOctober RI Employmention and Construction are up 600 and 400, respectively, from a year ago. 

October brought a gain of 200 jobs to the Educational Services sector. Over the year, Educational Services employment is up 400. 

The Information, Retail Trade and Transportation & Utilities sectors each added 100 jobs in October. Payrolls in Transportation & Utilities (+1,700) and Information (+100) are up from October 2018, while payrolls in Retail Trade are down 900 during this period.  

In October, small job losses were reported in five industry sectors, the Financial Activities and Government sectors each loss 200 jobs over the month. Employment in Financial Activities is up 1,000 from a year ago, while Government employment is up 100.

The Manufacturing, Other Services and Wholesale Trade sectors each reported a loss of 100 jobs in October. Over the year, jobs are up in Wholesale Trade (+800) and Other Services (+200), while down in Manufacturing (-800). 

The job count remained unchanged in the Health Care & Social Assistance and Mining & Logging sectors. The job count in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector is up a robust 3,000 from last October, while the Mining & Logging employment remained even.

Manufacturing Hours and Earnings 

In October 2019, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $19.22 per hour, down twenty-four cents from September 2019, but up thirty-four cents from October 2018.  

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.2 hours per week in October, down six-tenths of an hour over the month, and down one hour and seven-tenths from a year ago. 

*Refers to the number of new and reopened claims filed by UI beneficiaries and claims filed by those already collecting UI in the week that includes the 12th of the month.

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’ October labor force data and job counts on November 19, 2019. The Department of Labor and Training is scheduled to release the November 2019 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 19, 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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