RI Department of Labor and Training
Consumer Advisory
 
January Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.7 Percent;
Rhode Island-Based Jobs up 1,400 from December
(pdf)

March 9, 2017

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2017 was 4.7 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the December rate. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down seven-tenths of a percentage point from the January 2016 rate of 5.4 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in January 2017, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and down one-tenth of a percentage point over the year. This is the first month the Rhode Island unemployment rate has been below the U.S. rate since May 2005.

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 26,100, down 1,200 from the revised December figure of 27,300. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 3,900.

The number of employed RI residents was 524,800, up 1,500 from the revised December figure of 523,300. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 2,600 from January 2016.

The RI labor force totaled 550,900 in January 2017, up 300 from December 2016 but down 1,300 from January 2016.  

  Jan. 17 Dec. 16 Jan. 16
RI Unemployment Rate 4.7% 4.9% 5.4%
U.S. Unemployment Rate  4.8% 4.7% 4.9%
RI Job Count
(in thousands)
492.7 491.3 488.1


Highlights:
 

  • The RI unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from last month and down seven-tenths of a percentage point from a year ago.
  • The number of RI-based jobs is up 1,400 from December and up 4,600 from a year ago.
  • The number of employed RI residents increased by 1,500 over the month.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 492,700 in January, reflecting a gain of 1,400 jobs from the revised December estimate of 491,300. The January jobs report erases the 900 job loss reported in December. Over the past twelve months, nonfarm employment is up 4,600 jobs.

Employment in Construction continued to trend up, adding 900 jobs in January and marking three consecutive months of job growth totaling 1,200 jobs. Over the year, the Construction sector has added 1,600 jobs.

Strong job gains were also reported in the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector, up 700 jobs from December and up 900 jobs from January 2016.

After posting job losses in December, both the Professional & Business Services and Financial Activities sectors responded by adding 500 jobs and 400 jobs, respectively, in January. Employment in Professional & Business Services is up 1,700 jobs from a year ago, while the number of jobs in the Financial Activities sector is down 400 from last year.

The January job gains conclude with the addition of 300 jobs reported in Health Care & Social Assistance and 200 jobs in the Other Services sector. Employment in Health Care & Social Assistance is up 800 over the year, while Other Services employment is down 200 over the year.

Offsetting the January job gains were job declines reported in several employment sectors, led by a loss of 600 jobs in the Accommodation & Food Services sector. Employment in Accommodation & Food Services is up 700 from January 2016.

The Educational Services, Government and Transportation & Utilities sectors each reported a loss of 200 jobs in January. Both the Educational Services (+700) and Government (+300) sectors added jobs from a year ago, while the number of jobs in Transportation & Utilities is down 200 over the year.

The Educational Services, Government and Transportation & Utilities sectors each reported a loss of 200 jobs in January. Both the Educational Services (+700) and Government (+300) sectors added jobs from a year ago, while the number of jobs in Transportation & Utilities is down 200 over the year.

Information, Manufacturing, Retail Trade and Wholesale Trade each reported a loss of 100 jobs in January. Since January 2016, the number of jobs are down in Manufacturing (-900), Information (-200) and Wholesale Trade (-200), while remaining unchanged in Retail Trade.

The number of jobs in the Logging & Mining sector remained unchanged from December as well as over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In January 2017, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.39 per hour, down forty cents from December 2016 but up eighty-one cents from January 2016.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.4 hours per week in January, down two and two-tenths hours over the month but up one and a half 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 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 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 Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates is available on the BLS web site at www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm.  BLS will be releasing all states’ January labor force data and job counts on March 13, 2017. DLT is scheduled to release the February 2017 labor force figures and job counts on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. For more information concerning the 2016 job revisions, visit www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/pdf/2016bmkces.pdf

 

 


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 web site at www.dlt.ri.gov

Previous Index Next