Unemployment Rate at 7.6 percent in September 2014 (pdf)
Jobs up 400 from August
October 16, 2014
The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2014 remained at 7.6 percent, unchanged from the revised August 2014 rate and down one and nine-tenths percentage points from the September 2013 rate. The original August rate, reported at 7.7 percent by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has since been revised down and finalized at 7.6 percent. Along with last month, this is the lowest unemployment rate since June 2008. The unemployment rate is down one and seven-tenths percentage points since the beginning of the year.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in September 2014, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down one and three-tenth percentage points over the year.
The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 42,300, down 300 from the August figure of 42,600. This represents the 14th consecutive over-the-month decrease and the lowest unemployment level since May 2008. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 10,400.
A total of 9,081 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in September 2014,* down from 10,522 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 22.5 percent of the total unemployed.
The number of employed RI residents was 513,400, down 500 from the August figure of 513,900. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 12,900 from September 2013.
The RI labor force totaled 555,800 in September 2014, down 700 from August 2014 and up 2,600 from September 2013.
JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 478,900 in September, reflecting a gain of 400 jobs from the revised August employment estimate of 478,500. The third quarter of 2014 ended with three consecutive months of job gains totaling 2,300. Of the 2,300 third quarter jobs that were added, 2,200 were generated in the private sector. BLS also determined that jobs were higher in August 2014 than originally estimated. This resulted in a gain of 700 jobs between July and August instead of 100 jobs as initially estimated.
Educational Services employment grew by 1,800 in September as local private colleges and universities returned to the classrooms for the fall semester.
Smaller but positive jobs gains were reported in four employment sectors, including Financial Activities (+200), Transportation and Utilities (+100), Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (+100) and Health Care and Social Assistance (+100). Employment in Accommodations and Food Services, Wholesale Trade and Mining and Logging remained unchanged from August.
Offsetting the September employment gains was a loss of 500 jobs reported in the Professional and Business Services sector as large payroll declines were reported among those who perform services to buildings and dwellings. In addition, a loss of 500 jobs was also reported in the Retail Trade sector as job declines were reported among clothing stores and food and beverage stores.
A loss of 300 jobs each was reported in the Manufacturing and Government sectors, while a loss of 100 jobs each was reported in the Construction, Information and Other Services sectors.
Over the year, total nonfarm employment increased by 5,900, as job gains appeared in ten economic sectors, including Professional and Business Services (+1,900), Financial Activities (+1,000), Manufacturing (+800), Accommodation and Food Services (+800), Construction (+600), Transportation and Utilities (+500), Educational Services (+500), Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (+300), Retail Trade (+300) and Health Care and Social Assistance (+200).
Employment in four sectors — Government (-400), Wholesale Trade (-300), Information (-200) and Other Services (-100) — was down over the year. Employment in Mining and Logging remained unchanged.
MANUFACTURING: In September 2014, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $17.86 per hour, down 27 cents from August 2014 and down one dollar and twenty-seven cents from September 2013. Manufacturing production employees worked an average of 40.1 hours per week in September, up nine-tenths of an hour over the month but down six-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 Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates is available on the BLS web site at http://www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm. The September 2014 labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 16, 2014, 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.