RI Department of Labor and Training


Rhode Island June Unemployment Rate at 5.9 Percent; Jobs Down 300 from May (pdf)

July 16, 2015

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2015 dropped to 5.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised May 2015 rate of 6.0 percent. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and eight-tenths percentage points from the June 2014 rate. This is the lowest unemployment rate since November 2007.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in June 2015, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down eight-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 33,000, down 100 from the May figure of 33,100. This represents the lowest unemployment level since October 2007. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 9,900.

A total of 9,074 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in June 2015,* down from 10,679 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 28.9 percent of the total unemployed.

  June 15 May 15 June 14
RI Unemployment Rate      5.9% 6.0% 7.7%
U.S. Unemployment Rate    5.3% 5.5% 6.1%
RI Job Count (in thousands) 483.6 483.9 477.9


  • The RI unemployment rate declined to 5.9%, its lowest level since November 2007.

  • The number of RI-based jobs is down 300 from May but up 5,700 from a year ago.

  • The number of employed RI residents increased by 2,400 over the month.
  • There were 9,074 individuals collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits in June.*

The number of employed RI residents was 525,600, up 2,400 from the May figure of 523,200. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 13,500 from June 2014.

The RI labor force totaled 558,600 in June 2015, up 2,300 from May 2015 and up 3,500 from June 2014.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 483,600 in June, reflecting a loss of 300 jobs from the revised May estimate of 483,900. This loss is the first job loss since February and marks only the second month of job declines during the half-way point of 2015. Thus far, employment is up 4,300 through the year.

Employment in the Accommodation & Food Services sector fell by 900 in June, following a gain of 1,100 jobs in May. Since April, employment in the Accommodation & Food Services sector is up 200 jobs.

The Construction sector continues to struggle, shedding 700 jobs in June, its largest over-the-month loss since October 2008. Since the start of the year, Construction employment is down 1,600.

June job losses were also reported in the Other Services (-400), Financial Activities (-200), Manufacturing (-200), Government (-200), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-200) and Transportation & Utilities (-100) sectors.

Offsetting the June job declines were gains reported in five economic sectors. Professional & Business Services added the most jobs over the month (+1,100) marking three consecutive months of  job growth totaling 3,500 jobs. Also adding jobs in June were the Educational Services (+600), Health Care & Social Assistance (+500), Retail Trade (+300) and Information (+100) sectors.

Employment in Wholesale Trade and Mining & Logging remain unchanged.
Over the year, total nonfarm employment increased by 5,700 as job gains appeared in seven economic sectors, including Professional & Business Services (+3,100), Accommodation & Food Services (+1,800), Manufacturing (+900), Health Care & Social Assistance (+700), Transportation & Utilities (+700), Other Services (+700) and Educational Services (+600).
Employment in five sectors — Construction       (-1,600), Government (-800), Retail Trade          (-200), Information (-100) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-100) — was down over the year. Employment in Financial Activities, Wholesale Trade and Mining & Logging was unchanged since June 2014.

MANUFACTURING: In June 2015, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $17.33 per hour, down 20 cents from May 2015 and down 98 cents from June 2014. Manufacturing production employees worked an average of 38.9 hours per week in June, up four-tenths of an hour over the month but down an hour and six-tenths over the year.

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’ June labor force data and job counts on July 21, 2015. DLT is scheduled to release the July 2015 labor force figures and job counts on Thursday, August 20, 2015, at 2:00 p.m.


*Refers to the number of new and reopened claims filed by UI beneficiaries and claims filed by those already collecting UI in the week that includes the 12th of the month.


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