RI Department of Labor and Training


Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.1 percent in November 2014
November Gain of 2,800 Jobs Negates October Loss
Jobs up 8,500 since Start of Year

November 20, 2014

RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November 2014 dropped to 7.1 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the October 2014 rate and down two and three-tenths percentage points from the November 2013 rate. This is the lowest unemployment rate since April 2008. The unemployment rate is down half of a percentage point in two months and two and two-tenths percentage points since the beginning of the year.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in November 2014, unchanged 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—was 39,300, down 1,600 from the October figure of 40,900. This represents the 16th consecutive over-the-month decrease and the lowest unemployment level since March 2008. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 12,300.

A total of 10,127 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in November 2014,* down from 10,380 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 27.6 percent of the total unemployed.

The number of employed RI residents was 514,100, down 500 from the October figure of 514,600. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 14,700 from November 2013.

The RI labor force totaled 553,400 in November 2014, down 2,000 from October 2014 and up 2,400 from November 2013.

  Nov. 14 Oct. 14 Nov. 13
RI Unemployment Rate      7.1% 7.4%


U.S. Unemployment Rate    5.8% 5.8% 7.0%
RI Job Count (in thousands) 479.7 476.9



  • The RI unemployment rate declined to 7.1%, its lowest level since April 2008.
  • The number of RI-based jobs is up 2,800 from October 2014 and up 5,800 since November 2013.
  • The number of unemployed RI residents decreased by 1,600 over the month.
  • There were 10,127 individuals collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits in November.*

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 479,700 in November, reflecting a gain of 2,800 jobs from the revised October estimate of 476,900. Jobs are up 600 from September and 8,500 from the start of the year. The November employment level marks the highest level since July 2008 (479,900).

The Professional and Business Services sector added 1,000 jobs in November, following the unprecedented loss of 1,100 (revised from a loss of 1,200) jobs reported in October. November’s job gain ends three consecutive months of reported job losses within the Professional and Business Services sector.

The Health Care and Social Assistance and Accommodation and Food Services sectors each added 600 jobs since October. Job gains in ambulatory health care services and social assistance propelled the growth in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector. Employment in the Accommodation and Food Services sector has increased for three of the last four months. Jobs in this sector are up 1,600 since July.

Four employment sectors, Manufacturing, Construction, Retail Trade and Wholesale Trade, each reported a gain of 300 jobs in November.                                 

In addition, smaller job gains were noted in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (+200), Information (+100) and Transportation and Utilities (+100) sectors. Employment in Mining and Logging remained unchanged.

Offsetting the November gains were job losses reported in the Financial Activities (-500), Educational Services (-300), Government (-100) and Other Services (-100) sectors.
Over the year, total nonfarm employment increased by 5,800, as job gains appeared in ten economic sectors, including Professional and Business Services (+1,900), Accommodation and Food Services (+1,200), Financial Activities (+1,000), Transportation and Utilities (+600), Construction (+600), Manufacturing (+500), Health Care and Social Assistance (+400), Retail Trade (+300), Other Services (+300) and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (+200).
Employment in four sectors — Educational Services (-700), Government (-300), Wholesale Trade (-100) and Information (-100) — was down over the year. Employment in Mining and Logging remained unchanged since November 2013.

MANUFACTURING: In November 2014, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.19 per hour, up 19 cents from October 2014 and down 76 cents from November 2013. Manufacturing production employees worked an average of 39.8 hours per week in November, down four-tenths of an hour over the month and down an hour and seven-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 Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates is available on the BLS web site at http://www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm. The December 2014 labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 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 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.