RI Department of Labor and Training
 MEDIA ADVISORY
 

Unemployment Rate Drops to 10.5 Percent (pdf)

October 18, 2012

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2012 dropped to 10.5 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the August 2012 rate and eight-tenths of a percentage point from the September 2011 rate. This is the fifth consecutive monthly decrease in the unemployment rate, and represents the lowest unemployment rate in Rhode Island since April 2009.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in September 2012, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down one and two-tenths percentage points over the year.

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—decreased by 600 over the August figure to 58,600 in September. This represents the fifth consecutive month of decreases in the number of unemployed RI residents and the lowest level since April 2009. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 5,200.

The number of employed RI residents was up 3,900 over the August figures, increasing to 499,400 in September. This represents that largest monthly increase of employed RI residents since the Bureau of Labor Statistics implemented the current methodology in 1976. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents increased 400 from September 2011.

The RI labor force totaled 558,000 in September 2012, up 3,300 from August 2012 and down 4,800 from September 2011. The labor force increase was due to the gain in employed residents outweighing the loss in unemployed residents.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 458,000 in September, reflecting a gain of 2,000 jobs from the revised August employment estimate of 456,000.

The September preliminary estimates indicate that the Professional & Business Services sector added 1,100 jobs over the month, with sizable job gains reported in administrative support services. The Accommodation & Food Services sector added 700 jobs over the month marking five consecutive months of job gains for this sector.

An increase of 400 jobs was reported in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector as area hospitals increased their payrolls. The Retail Trade sector added 300 jobs over the month, fueled by growth in food stores and electronic and appliance stores. The September employment gain in Retail Trade ends four consecutive months of job declines within the sector.

Employment in the Transportation & Utilities sector was also up 300 jobs from August. Other sectors reporting jobs gains this month include Financial Activities (+200), Educational Services (+200) and Wholesale Trade (+100). Employment in the Government, Information and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged.

The Other Services sector lost 800 jobs over the month due to larger-than-usual employment losses reported in summer activities and recreational programs. Smaller employment declines in September were reported in the Construction (-200), Manufacturing (-200) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-100) sectors.
Over the year, total nonfarm employment decreased by 1,700. Job losses were reported in eight economic sectors, including Health Care & Social Assistance (-1,300), Government (-1,300), Retail Trade (-1,200), Other Services    (-900), Professional & Business Services (-600), Manufacturing (-300), Information (-100) and Wholesale Trade       (-100).
Accommodation & Food Services (+2,400), Construction (+800), Transportation & Utilities (+400), Financial Activities (+300), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+100) and Educational Services (+100) all reported over-the-year job gains. Employment in Mining & Logging remained unchanged over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In September 2012, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.38 per hour, up 13 cents from August 2012 and up $1.13 from September 2011. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 40.2 hours per week in September, up four-tenths over the month and up one hour and four-tenths 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 October labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, November 15, 2012 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, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov

 

 

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

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