RI Department of Labor and Training

Unemployment Rate Remains at 10.4 Percent (pdf)

December 20, 2012

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November 2012 remained at 10.4 percent, unchanged from the October 2012 rate and seven-tenths of a percentage point from the November 2011 rate.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in November 2012, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down one percentage point over the year.

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 58,600, down 100 from the October figure of 58,700. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 4,100.

The number of employed RI residents was up 1,500 over the October figures, increasing to 506,200 in November. This represents the fourth consecutive monthly increase in employed Rhode Islanders and the highest employment level since March 2009. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents increased 6,600 from November 2011.

The RI labor force totaled 564,800 in November 2012, up 1,400 from October 2012 and up 2,500 from November 2011. The state’s labor force is at its highest level since February 2011.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 457,100 in November, reflecting a loss of 200 jobs from the revised October employment estimate of 457,300. The monthly job losses stem from reported cutbacks in the Government sector which shed 600 positions, while private sector employment rose by 400.

The November preliminary estimates indicate that the Accommodation & Food Services sector lost 700 jobs over the month as payroll declines were reported in full service and limited service restaurants, and drinking places. As stated earlier, the Government sector lost 600 jobs in November, with the largest loss (-400) being reported within the local government branch.

The private Educational Services sector reported a decline of 400 jobs since October as colleges and universities, which represent more than two-thirds of Educational Services employment, failed to meet the job gains normally seen in November. Employment losses in hospitals and ambulatory health care services led to a decline of 300 jobs in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector.

Smaller employment declines were also noted in the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-200), Retail Trade (-100) and Wholesale Trade (-100) sectors.

The Professional & Business Services and Other Services sectors each added 700 positions in November. The  Professional & Business Services sector received a boost from a 900 job gain reported by the administrative and support service establishments which include employment services. The Other Services sector reported gains in professional organizations and in repair and maintenance services.

Employment in the Manufacturing sector grew by 500 in November as the nondurable goods component reported a surge in monthly payrolls. The Construction and Information sectors added 200 and 100 jobs respectively, over the month, while employment in the Financial Activities, Transportation & Utilities and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged.

Over the year, total nonfarm employment decreased by 2,200. Job losses appeared in eight economic sectors, including Government (-1,500), Educational Services (-700), Health Care & Social Assistance (-600), Construction (-600), Retail Trade (-500), Wholesale Trade (-300), Information (-200) and Transportation & Utilities (-100).

Employment in Manufacturing (+1,000),  Accommodation & Food Services (+500), Financial Activities (+400), Other Services (+300) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+100) was up over the year. Employment in Mining & Logging and Professional & Business Services remained unchanged over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In November 2012, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.60 per hour, up 18 cents from October 2012 and up $1.18 from November 2011. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.7 hours per week in November, down three-tenths over the month and unchanged 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 December labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Thursday, January 17, 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 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