RI Department of Labor and Training

Unemployment Rate Drops to 10.9 Percent (pdf)

July 20, 2012

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2012 dropped to 10.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the May 2012 rate. This represents the second consecutive monthly decrease in the unemployment rate and is the lowest RI rate since January 2012 (10.9%).

The state’s June 2012 rate was down half of a percentage point from the previous June.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in June, unchanged from the previous month and down nine-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—decreased by 1,100 over the May figure to reach 60,300 in June. Over the year, the number of unemployed RI residents dropped by 3,700. This is the lowest level of unemployed since May 2009.

Due to numerous eligibility requirements, the number of unemployed RI residents differs from the number of RI Unemployment Insurance recipients. The average weekly claim load for RI Unemployment Insurance benefits in June was 26,862, down 185 (-0.7%) from the May average of 27,046 and down 4,086 (-13.2%) from the June 2011 average of 30,947.

The number of employed RI residents was down 400 over the May figures, dropping to 495,000 in June. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was down 4,500 from June 2011.

The RI labor force totaled 555,200 in June 2012, down 1,600 from May 2012 and down 8,200 from June 2011 estimates. The labor force decrease reflected losses in employed residents combining with the losses in unemployed residents. This is the lowest labor force level since January 2005.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 457,100 in June, reflecting a loss of 900 jobs from the revised May employment estimate of 458,000. The June employment figure marks the lowest employment estimate since November 2009 (457,000).

The Retail Trade sector lost 600 jobs in June due to in part to reported employment losses in motor vehicle and parts dealers and building material supply dealers. The Professional & Business Services sector reported a loss of 500 positions, with job declines in professional services, employment services and waste services.

Also, the Government sector shed 300 jobs in June, followed by a loss of 200 jobs in the Financial Activities, Information and Wholesale Trade sectors, and losses of 100 jobs each in the Accommodation & Food Services, Educational Services and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sectors.

Helping to offset the job declines, the Other Services sector added 800 jobs over the month, with employment gains in repair and maintenance services and civic and social organizations. Positive job gains were also reported in Manufacturing (+400), due to an increase in durable goods employment, and in Construction (+200), due to an increase in specialty trades employment. Employment in the Health Care & Social Assistance, Transportation & Utilities and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged over the month.

Over the year, total nonfarm employment decreased by 3,900. Job losses were reported in eight economic sectors, including Retail Trade (-2,000), Health Care & Social Assistance (-1,700), Government (-700), Accommodation & Food Services (-600), Financial Activities (-400), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-400), Professional & Business Services (-100) and Other Services (-100).

Educational Services employment posted the largest over-the-year increase in June, with a gain of 1,100 jobs, followed by Manufacturing (+600), Wholesale Trade (+200), and Construction (+200).

Employment in Information, Transportation & Utilities and Mining & Logging remained unchanged over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In June 2012, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.23 per hour. The average hourly production wage remained unchanged from May 2012 and up $2.24 from June 2011. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 40.5 hours per week in June, up seven-tenths of an hour over the month and up an hour and one-tenth 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 July labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, August 17, 2012.



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