RI Department of Labor and Training

MEDIA ADVISORY
 

2013 Rhode Island Labor Force Revisions Provide Mixed Results (pdf)

  • RI job count outperforms 2013 job estimates
  • Unemployment rate higher than previously reported


February 27
, 2014

The RI Department of Labor and Training recently completed its annual revision of the 2013 RI-based jobs and labor force estimates. Benchmark results were mixed, showing that the state had a higher job count and a higher unemployment rate than previously published data showed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhode Island Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec-12

Jan-13

Feb-13

Mar-13

Apr-13

May-13

Jun-13

Jul-13

Aug-13

Sep-13

Oct-13

Nov-13

Dec-13

 

 

Benchmark

9.7

9.6

9.5

9.5

9.5

9.5

9.5

9.6

9.6

9.5

9.4

9.4

9.3

 

 

Prev. Published

9.9

9.8

9.4

9.1

8.8

8.9

8.8

8.9

9.1

9.2

9.2

9.0

9.1

 

 

Change

-0.2

-0.2

0.1

0.4

0.7

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.5

0.3

0.2

0.4

0.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Benchmark revisions to the state’s unemployment rate, which had previously ranged between 8.8 percent and 9.8 percent in 2013, indicate that the rate reached a high of 9.6 percent several times during 2013 and ended at a low of 9.3 percent in December. According to previously published data, the 2013 annual average unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. This average was revised to 9.5 percent following the benchmark process. The 2013 annual average rate is down eight-tenths of a percentage point from the revised 2012 average rate of 10.3 percent.

The year ended with a December unemployment rate of 9.3 percent, now the lowest unemployment rate since November 2008. Over the year, the December rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point from the revised December 2012 rate of 9.7 percent.

The RI Department of Labor and Training also reports that the number of Rhode-Island based jobs averaged 470,800 in 2013, approximately 3,100 more than the 467,700 initially reported. All twelve months reported significant upward revisions after the benchmark. In June, an upward revision of 5,400 total nonfarm jobs marked the largest revision for 2013, while December recorded the smallest upward revision of 1,200 jobs.

  Rhode Island Nonfarm Unadjusted Employment 
 
  Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13 2013 Avg.
Benchmark 471.9 455.1 457.4 461.3 468.6 475.3 478.9 471.8 472.4 478.1 479.2 478.2 473.0 470.8
   
Prev. Published 468.2 453.4 455.5 459.0 466.0 471.1 473.5 468.5 469.8 474.4 475.3 474.5 471.8 467.7
   
Change 3.7 1.7 1.9 2.3 2.6 4.2 5.4 3.3 2.6 3.7 3.9 3.7 1.2 3.1

The 2013 benchmark also revealed that nonfarm jobs increased by an average of 5,400 from the revised 2012 average job count of 465,400. Previously published data indicated that nonfarm jobs were up an average of 2,700 from 2012. The last time Rhode Island experienced an over-the-year average gain of at least 5,400 jobs was between 1999 and 2000 when the average increase was 11,200.

Related Statistics

The increase in the unemployment rate is due, in part, to upward revisions in the number of unemployed RI residents for eleven months of 2013. The number of unemployed was revised upward by an average of 2,450 from February to December, ending the year at 51,100. The benchmarked December unemployment level is now currently the lowest unemployment level since October 2008.

While unemployment levels rose, employment levels were revised downward for all of 2013. Previously, the employment level had fluctuated between a high of 509,300 in May and a low of 500,300 in October. The revised employment data shows that in 2013, employment peaked at 506,200 in both January and February and steadily decreased every month thereafter, ending the year at 499,100, the lowest employment level since April 2012.

The revisions to labor force estimates, the sum of employed and unemployed residents, were evenly mixed in 2013, depending on whether the increase in unemployed outweighed the decrease in employed. With the benchmark, last year’s labor force peaked at 560,000 in January and slowly decreased every month to 550,100 in December, the lowest labor force level since June 2002.

 

2013 Seasonally Adjusted Labor Force Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

 

 

Unemployment Rate

 

 

Benchmark

9.6

9.5

9.5

9.5

9.5

9.5

9.6

9.6

9.5

9.4

9.4

9.3

 

 

Prev. Released

9.8

9.4

9.1

8.8

8.9

8.8

8.9

9.1

9.2

9.2

9.0

9.1

 

 

Change

-0.2

0.1

0.4

0.7

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.5

0.3

0.2

0.4

0.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unemployment (in thousands)

 

 

Benchmark

53.8

53.3

53.0

52.8

52.9

53.1

53.3

53.1

52.7

52.1

51.6

51.1

 

 

Prev. Released

54.9

53.0

51.1

49.4

49.6

49.4

49.3

50.0

50.5

50.4

49.5

49.9

 

 

Change

-1.1

0.3

1.9

3.4

3.3

3.7

4.0

3.1

2.2

1.7

2.1

1.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employment (in thousands)

 

 

Benchmark

506.2

506.2

506.0

505.6

504.8

503.6

502.3

501.3

500.5

499.9

499.4

499.1

 

 

Prev. Released

506.9

508.3

507.7

508.9

509.3

509.0

506.6

502.2

500.9

500.3

501.4

500.7

 

 

Change

-0.7

-2.1

-1.7

-3.3

-4.5

-5.4

-4.3

-0.9

-0.4

-0.4

-2.0

-1.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Force (in thousands)

 

 

Benchmark

560.0

559.5

559.0

558.5

557.7

556.7

555.6

554.4

553.2

552.0

551.0

550.1

 

 

Prev. Released

561.8

561.3

558.9

558.3

558.9

558.4

556.0

552.2

551.4

550.7

550.8

550.5

 

 

Change

-1.8

-1.8

0.1

0.2

-1.2

-1.7

-0.4

2.2

1.8

1.3

0.2

-0.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Establishment Employment
Unadjusted Benchmark Revisions
(in thousands)
               
  2013 Average 2012 Average Over the Year Change
Sectors Benchmark Published Revision Benchmark Published Revision Benchmark Published
Total Nonfarm 470.8 467.7 3.1 465.4 465.0 0.4 5.4 2.7
Construction 16.1 15.2 0.9 16.0 15.8 0.2 0.1 -0.6
Manufacturing 40.0 40.3 -0.3 39.6 39.7 -0.1 0.4 0.6
Wholesale Trade 16.7 16.8 -0.1 16.9 16.8 0.1 -0.2 0.0
Retail Trade 46.4 46.7 -0.3 46.9 46.7 0.2 -0.5 0.0
Trans., Warehousing,& Utilities 10.8 10.8 0.0 10.9 10.8 0.1 -0.1 0.0
Information 9.0 9.1 -0.1 9.6 9.6 0.0 -0.6 -0.5
Financial Activities 32.2 32.7 -0.5 31.6 31.5 0.1 0.6 1.2
Professional & Business Services 58.7 58.4 0.3 56.1 56.2 -0.1 2.6 2.2
Educational Services 24.0 24.8 -0.8 23.9 25.1 -1.2 0.1 -0.3
Health Care & Social Assistance 80.5 79.0 1.5 79.4 78.6 0.8 1.1 0.4
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation 8.4 8.2 0.2 7.6 7.6 0.0 0.8 0.6
Accommodation & Food Services 45.1 43.6 1.5 44.2 43.9 0.3 0.9 -0.3
Other Services 22.5 22.3 0.2 22.6 22.5 0.1 -0.1 -0.2
Government 60.2 59.7 0.5   60.1 60.1 0.0   0.1 -0.4

The five-year revision of employment data has changed some of the high and low points of Rhode Island’s recession. The highest unemployment rate of the recession occurred December 2009 through March 2010, when Rhode Island hit 11.9 percent unemployment. February and March 2010 marked the highest count of unemployed residents, at 68,100. The lowest number of RI-based jobs has been recalculated at 455,900, occurring in July and August 2009.

Benchmarking Process
This latest information comes from the department’s annual benchmarking process. Labor force data is recalculated based on updated monthly job estimates and revised population estimates. Annual benchmarking on labor statistics is performed for the latest five-year period (2009-2013).

The jobs data benchmarked involves replacing sample-based job counts gathered through monthly surveys of 1,600 RI employers with actual tax records from all RI employers for the period of July 2012 to September 2013. Employment estimates for October through December 2013 were then recalculated based on the new benchmark data.

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.

 

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