RI Department of Labor and Training


December Unemployment Rate Increases to 9.1 percent (pdf)

January 23
, 2014

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2013 increased to 9.1 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the November 2013 rate of 9.0 percent and down eight-tenths of a percentage point from the December 2012 rate.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in December 2013, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down one and two-tenths percentage points over the year.

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 49,900, up 400 from the previous month. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 5,700.

The number of employed RI residents declined by 700 over the month, decreasing to 500,700 in December. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents dropped 6,900 from December 2012.

The RI labor force totaled 550,500 in December 2013, down 300 from November 2013 and down 12,700 from December 2012.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 469,200 in December, reflecting a loss of 1,500 jobs from the November revised employment estimate of 470,700. Prior to the December decline, the local economy had experienced four consecutive months of growth totaling 4,600 jobs. Over the year, jobs were up 3,600 since December 2012.

The Educational Services, Construction and Other Services sectors each reported a loss of 400 jobs. The drop in Educational Services can be attributed to colleges and universities, which break for winter recess in December. Construction declines were mostly felt amongst specialty trade contractors, while the Other Services sector reported payroll declines in repair and maintenance services.

Elsewhere, employment declines were also reported in Financial Activities (-300), Professional & Business Services (-200), Health Care & Social Assistance (-200), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-100) and Mining & Logging (-100).

Offsetting some of the December losses were job gains reported in the Accommodation & Food Services (+300), Retail Trade (+200) and Manufacturing (+100) sectors. Employment in the Information, Transportation & Utilities, Wholesale Trade and Government sectors remained unchanged.

Over the year, total nonfarm employment rose by 3,600, as job gains appeared in seven economic sectors. The largest gain was reported in the Professional & Business Services (+1,400) sector, followed by Accommodation & Food Services (+1,000), Retail Trade (+900), Construction (+700) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+700). Smaller over-the-year gains were also reported in the Manufacturing (+300) and Transportation & Utilities (+100) sectors.

Employment in five sectors—Other Services (-900), Government (-200), Health Care & Social Assistance (-200), Educational Services (-100) and Information (-100)—was down over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In December 2013, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $19.18 per hour, up 42 cents from November 2013 and up 77 cents from December 2012. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 41.5 hours per week in December, unchanged over the month and up an hour and one-tenth 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 employment figures are derived from a survey of businesses in Rhode Island and measure 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 CES estimates is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm. The January labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 2:00 P.M.



ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity 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 on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov.