RI Department of Labor and Training
Consumer Advisory

Rhode Island-Based Jobs Up 1,400 from June;
July Unemployment Rate Remains at 5.5 Percent (pdf)

August 18, 2016

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2016 was 5.5 percent, unchanged from the June rate. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down four-tenths of a percentage point from the July 2015 rate.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in July 2016, unchanged from the previous month and down four-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 30,500, up 300 from the June figure of 30,200. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 2,200.

A total of 10,486 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in July 2016,* down from 10,869 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 33.3 percent of the total unemployed.

The number of employed RI residents was 524,600, up 1,300 from the June figure of 523,300. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 1,800 from July 2015.

The RI labor force totaled 555,000 in July 2016, up 1,500 from June 2016 but down 400 from July 2015.


  July 16 June 16 July 15
RI Unemployment Rate 5.5% 5.5% 5.9%
U.S. Unemployment Rate  4.9% 4.9% 5.3%
RI Job Count
(in thousands)
490.9 489.5 485.9


  • The RI unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, unchanged over the month.
  • The number of RI-based jobs is up 1,400 from June and up 5,000 from a year ago.
  • The number of employed RI residents increased by 1,300 over the month.
  • There were 10,486 individuals collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits in July.*

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 490,900 in July, reflecting a gain of 1,400 jobs from the revised June estimate of 489,500. The July employment level marks the highest level since August 2007 (492,000). On average, the state added 700 jobs over the past three months and has 5,000 more jobs than a year ago.

Professional & Business Services added 900 jobs in July and added 2,600 jobs over the past twelve months. The boost in the number of jobs can be attributed to growth in the Administrative & Waste Services subsector.

Ending a six month period without reporting a job gain, employment in Transportation & Utilities rose 700 from June and employment is up 100 from July 2015.

Employment in Educational Services continued to trend up by adding 500 jobs in July, marking three consecutive months of job growth. Despite averaging an increase of 500 jobs over the past three months, employment within this sector is down 200 from a year ago. Government employment also rose by 500 in July, fueled by job gains reported within the local government branch.

Through the addition of 300 jobs in July, Manufacturing employment reached its highest level since March 2009
(42,600). The number of Manufacturing jobs is up 1,200 from this time last year.

Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200) and Construction (+100) were the two remaining employment sectors to report a job gain in July. The job growth reported in the Construction sector ends four consecutive months of job declines within the sector.

On the losing end, Financial Activities reported a loss of 600 jobs over the month, the first job loss since April. Wholesale Trade employment fell by 400 from June, and is now down 900 jobs from July 2015.

The number of jobs in the Retail Trade and Health Care & Social Assistance sectors decreased by 300 and 200, respectively in July. Employment in Retail Trade is up 300 from a year ago, while Health Care & Social Assistance employment remained unchanged during this period.

A loss of 100 jobs was reported in each of the Accommodation & Food Services, Information and Other Services sectors. Employment in both the Accommodation & Food Services (+1,400) and Other Services (+400) sectors is up over the year, while being down in the Information (-200) sector.

Mining & Logging employment remained unchanged from June and remained unchanged from July 2015. 

MANUFACTURING: In July 2016, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.40 per hour, up seventeen cents from June 2016, and up sixty-eight cents from July 2015. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.7 hours per week in July, down four-tenths of an hour from June and down five-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 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’ July labor force data and job counts on August 19, 2016. DLT is scheduled to release the August 2016 labor force figures and job counts on Thursday, September 15, 2016, 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

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