Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.2 percent in January (pdf)
The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2014 dropped to 9.2 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised December 2013 rate and down four-tenths of a percentage point from the January 2013 rate. This is the lowest unemployment rate since November 2008.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in January 2014, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and down one and three-tenths percentage points over the year.
The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 50,600, down 500 from the revised December figure of 51,100. This represents the sixth consecutive over-the-month decrease and the lowest unemployment level since October 2008. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 3,200.
The number of employed RI residents was up 600 over the revised December figures, increasing to 499,700 in January. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents decreased 6,500 from January 2013.
The RI labor force totaled 550,300 in January 2014, up 200 from December 2013 but down 9,700 from January 2013.
JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 475,000 in January, reflecting a gain of 3,800 jobs from the revised December employment estimate of 471,200. January’s employment level marks the highest employment level since October 2008.
The Educational Services sector added 1,600 jobs in January, the result of a change in the college calendar for some local universities and colleges. Typically, the fall semester runs deep into December, keeping student workers and faculty workers employed through the end of month. Because the semester ended early, a bulk of the sector’s employment came off the payrolls in December rather than in January, resulting in a seasonal gain.
Employment in Health Care & Social Assistance estimated at 81,100 reached an all-time high in January, adding 700 jobs over the month. Ambulatory health care services and nursing and residential care facilities, which usually shed employment in January, held on to their December employment, resulting in large job gains.
The Wholesale Trade and Other Services sectors each added 400 jobs in January, while positive gains were also reported in the Manufacturing (+300), Accommodation & Food Services (+200), Retail Trade (+100), Financial Activities (+100), Construction (+100), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+100) and Government (+100) sectors.
Minor employment declines were noted in the Professional & Business Services (-200) and Transportation & Utilities (-100) sectors, while the Information and Mining & Logging sectors reported no change.
MANUFACTURING: In January 2014, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $19.12 per hour, down 16 cents from December 2013 but up 51 cents from January 2013. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.6 hours per week in January, up two hour’s over the month and down one hour 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 web site at http://www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm. The February labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, March 20, 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.