RI Department of Labor and Training

May Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly to 8.9 percent (pdf)

June 20, 2013

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2013 rose to 8.9 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the April 2013 rate and down 1.7 percentage points from the May 2012 rate. This represents the first over-the-month increase in the state’s unemployment rate since July 2011.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in May 2013, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and down six-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 49,600, up 200 from the April figure of 49,400. This represents the first over-the-month increase since May 2012. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 9,600.

The number of employed RI residents was up 400 over the April figure, increasing to 509,300 in May. This is the largest number of employed since February 2009. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents increased 9,100 from May 2012.

The RI labor force totaled 558,900 in May 2013, up 600 from April 2013 and down 500 from May 2012.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 466,900 in May, reflecting a loss of 200 jobs from the April revised employment estimate of 467,100.

Larger than usual employment losses at colleges and universities contributed to a 1,100-job drop in the Educational Services sector.

Job declines were less severe in the Other Services (-300), Professional & Business Services (-200), Health Care & Social Assistance (-100) and Manufacturing (-100) sectors. Business and labor organizations reported declines in the Other Services sector, while the accounting and tax services, and employment services industry groups reported minor losses in the Professional & Businesses Services sector.

Employment in five sectors—Construction, Financial Activities, Government, Information and Mining & Logging—was unchanged.

Offsetting some of the May declines was a reported gain of 700 jobs in the Accommodation & Food Services sector. All major components of the industry—accommodations, restaurants and drinking establishments—posted over-the-month employment gains.

The Retail Trade sector added 500 jobs since April as food and beverage stores and automotive parts stores increased their monthly payrolls.

In addition, job gains were reported in the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200), Transportation & Warehousing (+100) and Wholesale Trade (+100) sectors.

Over the year, total non-farm employment was up by 1,600, as job gains appeared in six economic sectors, including Professional & Business Services (+2,100), Financial Activities (+1,100), Health Care & Social Assistance  (+900), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+700), Manufacturing (+700) and Other Services (+200).
Employment in six sectors—Educational Services (-1,500), Construction (-1,000), Government (-600), Information (-400), Retail Trade (-400) and Wholesale Trade (-200) —was down over the year. Employment in Accommodation & Food Services, Transportation & Warehousing and Logging & Mining was unchanged over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In May 2013, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.78 per hour, down 12 cents from April 2013 and up 55 cents from May 2012. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.6 hours per week in May, down one-tenth of an hour over the month and down two-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 18, 2013 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