RI Department of Labor and Training

Quarterly Data Shows More Rhode Island-Based Jobs, Improved Economic Picture for First Quarter of 2012
7,000 more RI-based jobs for March 2012 than originally estimated
Accommodation & Food Services, Professional & Business Services, and Construction estimates each up more than 1,000 jobs

(released by the Office of the Governor)

August 1, 2012


Providence, RI – A recent analysis of tax data shows that Rhode Island job growth exceeded original estimates for the first quarter of 2012, according to the RI Department of Labor and Training.

The new estimate for Rhode Island-based jobs as of March 2012 is 464,700 jobs, up 7,000 from earlier numbers reported in April. The earlier estimate indicated that Rhode Island-based jobs had dropped over a year’s time by 2,200. However, the new estimate shows that Rhode Island-based jobs had likely increased by 4,800 from March 2011 to March 2012.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee says, “It’s heartening to have hard data that confirms what we’ve been hearing from individual employers: that the economic recovery in Rhode Island may be more steady than we had originally thought.”

First quarter tax data also shows significant increases in job counts in the following industry sectors:

  • Accommodation & Food Services—revised to 43,800 jobs, up 2,400 jobs from earlier estimates.
  • Professional & Business Services—revised to 55,900 jobs, up 1,700 from earlier estimates.
  • Construction—revised to 16,800 jobs, up 1,600 from earlier estimates.

Tax data also shows moderate decreases in job counts for the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing—revised to 40,000 jobs, down 900 from earlier estimates.
  • Educational Services (private sector only)—revised to 25,200 jobs, down 700 from earlier estimates.

Monthly estimates are based upon a survey sample of 1,600 Rhode Island employers. The quarterly estimates are based on data from approximately 32,000 employers, and therefore have a smaller margin of error. According to the Department of Labor and Training, the monthly survey is

Projected Revision in March 2012 Job Numbers
In thousands
Survey-based Tax data-based estimates, calculated in July 2012  Projected
estimates, calculated in April 2012 revision
Total Jobs 457.7 464.7 7
Mining & Logging 0.2 0.2 0
Construction 15.2 16.8 1.6
Manufacturing 40.9 40 -0.9
Retail Trade 45.7 46.8 1.1
Wholesale Trade 16.5 16.7 0.2
Transportation & Utilities 10.8 10.8 0
Information 10.5 9.9 -0.6
Financial Activities 30.5 30.4 -0.1
Professional & Business Services 54.2 55.9 1.7
Educational Services 25.9 25.2 -0.7
Health Care & Social Assistance 77.5 78.7 1.2
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 7.3 7.7 0.4
Accommodation & Food  41.4 43.8 2.4
Other Services 21.3 22.1 0.8
Total Government 59.8 59.6 -0.2
Source: RI Department of Labor and Training, Labor Market Information Unit, Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages (QCEW) and Current Employment Statistics (CES) data, Using methodology developed by the University of Massachusetts. 

The revised data also shows a change in over-the-year trends for a number of industry sectors. The industry sectors of Construction; Retail Trade; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; and Accommodation & Food Services all originally reported over-the-year losses, according to March 2012 survey data reported in April. However, first quarter tax data shows that each of these sectors likely grew jobs from March 2011 to March 2012.

Conversely, the Information and Manufacturing sectors, which had originally posted job growth from March 2011 to March 2012, now registered over-the-year losses.

Over-the-Year Comparison of RI-Based Jobs,Using New Estimates for March 2012
In thousands
March 2011* Revised March 2012 Estimates Change
Total Jobs 459.9 464.7 4.8
Mining & Logging 0.1 0.2 0.1
Construction 15.6 16.8 1.2
Manufacturing 40.7 40 -0.7
Retail Trade 46.4 46.8 0.4
Wholesale Trade 16.1 16.7 0.6
Transportation & Utilities 10.7 10.8 0.1
Information 10 9.9 -0.1
Financial Activities 30.7 30.4 -0.3
Professional & Business Services 54.1 55.9 1.8
Educational Services 24.8 25.2 0.4
Health Care & Social Assistance 78.2 78.7 0.5
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 7.6 7.7 0.1
Accommodation & Food  42 43.8 1.8
Other Services 22.1 22.1 0
Total Government 60.8 59.6 -1.2
*March 2011 data was originally calculated from a survey sample, and then was revised using tax data during the state’s annual revision process of employment estimates. 


Once a year, all states use four quarters of tax data to revise one year’s worth of survey-based employment estimates. These revisions are usually released in late February/early March of the following year. However, the RI Department of Labor and Training has chosen to release its own revisions on a quarterly basis, to better track the progress of the economic recovery. While the monthly survey-based estimates may not be as accurate as the quarterly tax data, they still service an important purpose. “Quarterly data is not available in as timely a manner as survey data,” says Director of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty. “Monthly data is still valuable, because it allows the state to monitor employment patterns in real time.” Fogarty adds that all states use uniform methods to calculate the monthly employment estimates, under the supervision of the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.


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