RI Department of Labor and Training
Consumer Advisory

Rhode Island-Based Jobs Down 900 from August; September Unemployment Rate Remains at 5.6 Percent (pdf)


October 20, 2016

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2016 was 5.6 percent, unchanged from the August rate. Over the year, the unemployment rate is unchanged from the September 2015 rate of 5.6 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in September 2016, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and down one-tenth of a percentage point over the year.
The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 31,100, up 100 from the August figure of 31,000. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 100.

A total of 7,298 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in September 2016,* down from 7,698 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 25.8 percent of the total unemployed.

The number of employed RI residents was 526,300, up 400 from the August figure of 525,900. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 3,800 from September 2015.

The RI labor force totaled 557,400 in September 2016, up 500 from August 2016 and up 3,600 from September 2015
  Sept. 16 Aug. 16 Sept. 15
RI Unemployment Rate 5.6% 5.6% 5.6%
U.S. Unemployment Rate  5.0% 4.9% 5.1%
RI Job Count
(in thousands)
490.2 491.1 484.9


  • The RI unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point over the month.
  • The number of RI-based jobs is down 700 from July but up 5,800 from a year ago.
  • The number of employed RI residents increased by 1,100 over the month.
  • There were 10,497 individuals collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits in August.*



JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 490,200 in September, reflecting a loss of 900 jobs from the revised August estimate of 491,100. September marks two consecutive months of job declines resulting in a loss of 1,300 jobs. The Government sector reported the bulk of the September losses, shedding 700 jobs, while private sector employment fell by 200. Over the year, the Rhode Island economy has added 5,300 jobs.

A loss of 1,100 jobs was reported in Educational Services, marking the second time within this calendar year where a monthly loss of 1,100 jobs was reported in this sector. A loss of the same magnitude was reported in the January jobs report. Despite these significant declines, the number of jobs in Educational Services is up 200 from a year ago.

In Health Care & Social Assistance, jobs fell by 900 in September, the largest over-the-month decline since January 2000 (-1,000). The Ambulatory Health Care Services (generally provides outpatient services) and Hospital subsectors accounted for a majority of the job declines. Since September 2015, the number of jobs in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector is down 200.

Sizeable employment losses were also noted in Government and Professional & Business Services, each falling by 700 in September. The Government employment figure is up 300 from a year ago, while the Professional & Business Services sector, which lost 1,100 jobs over the past two months, is up 1,500 from September 2015.

Smaller monthly job losses were reported in the Other Services (-300), Manufacturing (-200), Information (-100) and Transportation & Utilities (-100) sectors. Among these sectors, Manufacturing employment is up 500 from a year ago, while employment in Other Services and Transportation & Utilities is up 200 and 100, respectively. Employment in the Information sector is down 300 over the year.

Robust discretionary spending was apparent in September as three employment sectors which rely heavily on such spending reported strong monthly job growth. The number of jobs in the Accommodation & Food Services sector was up 1,800 from August, while 600 jobs were added in both the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Retail Trade sectors.

Wholesale Trade employment rose by 200 in September, while employment in Construction, Financial Activities and Mining & Logging remained unchanged.
MANUFACTURING: In September 2016, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.44 per hour, up twenty cents from August 2016, and up one dollar and sixteen cents from September 2015. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.4 hours per week in September, up one hour and two-tenths from August but down three-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’ September labor force data and job counts on October 21, 2016. DLT is scheduled to release the October 2016 labor force figures and job counts on Thursday, November 17, 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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