Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.2 percent in May
The RI Department of Labor
and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally
adjusted unemployment rate for May 2014 dropped to 8.2 percent, down
one-tenth of a percentage point from the April 2014 rate and down one
and three-tenths of a percentage points from the May 2013 rate. This is
the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008. The unemployment rate is
down one and one-tenth percentage points since the beginning of the
The number of
unemployed RI residents—those
residents classified as available for and actively seeking
employment—was 45,600, down 600 from the April figure of 46,200. This
represents the tenth consecutive over-the-month decrease and the lowest
unemployment level since July 2008. Over the year, the number of
unemployed dropped by 7,300.
The number of employed
RI residents was up 2,700 over the April figure, increasing to
512,200 in May. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was
up 7,400 from May 2013.
The RI labor force totaled
557,800 in May 2014, up 2,000 from April 2014 and up 100 from May 2013.
Employment in Professional
& Business Services was up 1,400 over the month, bringing the number
of jobs for this sector cluster to 61,100, its largest employment level
on record. The surge in employment was spread among various industries
in the Professional, Scientific & Technical Services and
Administrative & Waste Services sectors.
Sizable job growth was also
noted in the Accommodation & Food Services and Manufacturing
sectors, which added 800 and 600 employees, respectively. Payrolls in
full-service restaurants and hotels rose sharply in May in addition to
payrolls in the durable goods component of Manufacturing.
smaller but positive gains were reported in Retail Trade (+200), Health
Care & Social Assistance (+100), Construction (+100), Financial
Activities (+100), Wholesale Trade (+100) and Government (+100).
in Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Transportation & Utilities
and Mining & Logging remained unchanged.
the May job gains was a loss of 900 jobs reported in the Educational
Services sector, as several local private colleges and universities
brought to a close their spring sessions resulting in employment
declines. The Other Services sector also experienced a sharp decline
since April, shedding 500 jobs. Several sectors within the industry
reported job losses.
Information (-100) sector was the only remaining sector to lose
employment in May.
Over the year, total
nonfarm employment increased by 7,500, as job gains appeared in nine
economic sectors, including Professional & Business Services
(+2,700), Accommodation & Food Services (+1,400), Arts,
Entertainment & Recreation (+1,200), Construction (+1,100),
Manufacturing (+900), Retail Trade (+800), Health Care & Social
Assistance (+200), Educational Services (+200) and Transportation &
in four sectors; Other Services (-400), Information (-400), Wholesale
Trade (-200) and Government (-100) were down over the year. Employment in
Financial Activities and Mining & Logging remained unchanged.
In May 2014, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned
$18.41 per hour, down 12 cents from April 2014 and down 44 cents from
May 2013. Manufacturing production employees worked an average of 39.7
hours per week in May, down an hour and one-tenth over the month but up
three-tenths of an 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 June labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 17, 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.