RI Department of Labor and Training

RI unemployment at 9.2 percent in September, steady in October
RI-based jobs grow 3,500 in three months (pdf)

November 21, 2013

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for both September and October 2013 was 9.2 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the August 2013 rate. The 9.2 percent rate was down 9/10th of a percentage point from October 2012.

The recent government shutdown delayed the September employment information until this month.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in October 2013, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and down six-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 50,500 in September and 50,400 in October, compared to the August count of 50,000. Over the year, the number of unemployed residents dropped by 6,400 from October 2012 to October 2013.

The number of employed RI residents dropped 1,300 from August to September (500,900), and dropped an additional 600 from September to October (500,300). From October 2012 to October 2013, the number of employed residents dropped by 5,400.

The October labor force of 550,700 represented drops of 700 from September 2013, 1,500 from August 2013 and 11,700 from October 2012. Over the year, the greatest drop in the labor force came from workers ages 16 to 24, according to the monthly household survey.



JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: In October, the number of RI-based jobs reached 469,600, its highest level since December 2008. In September and October, RI-based jobs showed monthly increases of 1,100 and 800, respectively. Combined with the previously reported August gains of 1,600 jobs, the state experienced three consecutive months of employment gains totaling 3,500 jobs.

In September, the industry sector demonstrating the greatest job gains was Professional & Business Services (+900), with strong growth in the employment services industry group and services to buildings and dwelling industry group.

In October, Accommodation & Food Services (+800) demonstrated the greatest job gains as employment levels outperformed seasonal expectations. This, coupled with consecutive months of smaller gains in the sector, brought the four-month total increase in Accommodation & Food Services to 1,700. In other positive job news, the Construction sector gained 300 jobs in September and 400 in October, bringing its three-month total increase to 1,000 jobs.

As for monthly job losses, the Retail Trade (-800) and Financial Activities (-600) sectors each experienced notable declines in September. Building material retailers and miscellaneous retailers (i.e. office supply, gift shops, and stationary stores) reported job losses, while several subsectors in the Financial Activities sector experienced payroll declines. The greatest over-the-month job losses in October occurred in the Government sector (-300), with reported losses in local government and state government.

From October 2012 to October 2013, total nonfarm employment rose by 5,500, as job gains appeared in nine economic sectors including Professional & Business Services (+3,000), Construction (+800), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+800), Financial Activities (+500), Transportation & Utilities (+300), Accommodation & Food Services (+300), Retail Trade (+200), Health Care & Social Assistance (+200) and Manufacturing (+100).

Employment in four sectors—Government (-300), Information (-200), Other Services (-100) and Wholesale Trade (-100)—declined over the year. Employment in Educational Services and Mining & Logging remained unchanged.

MANUFACTURING: In October 2013, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.98 per hour, down 15 cents from September 2013 and up 55 cents from October 2012. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 40.8 hours per week in October, up one-tenth of an hour over the month and up eight-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 CES estimates is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm. The November labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, December 19, 2013 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 website at www.dlt.ri.gov.