RI's Job Count Relatively Unchanged; Unemployment Rate Climbs (pdf)
|January 18, 2008|
The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that Rhode Island's monthly job count declined by 100 in December 2007, reducing the number of jobs to 499,200. This is the second consecutive monthly employment decrease in Rhode Island and follows nine months of stable or increased job growth.
Additionally, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.3 of a percentage point for the second month in a row, reaching 5.5 percent in December. This marks the highest RI unemployment rate since February 1996. The national unemployment rate also rose 0.3 of a percentage point last month, growing to 5.0 percent in December.
2007, the number of unemployed Rhode Island residents-those residents
who classify themselves as available for and actively seeking employment-increased
to 31,800, a jump of 1,800 from November 2007 and a year-over-year increase
of 2,400 from the previous December. This figure represents the highest
level of unemployed RI residents since June 1995.
From November to December of 2007, employment losses were reported in the Professional & Business Services (-200) and Other Services (-200) sectors. Smaller losses of 100 each were noted in the Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Accommodation & Food Services sectors.
of job losses in Professional & Business Services sector employment
could be attributed to reductions in Temporary Help and Landscaping.
Within the Other Services sector, losses were noted in Personal Care
The month's employment decreases were partially offset by a job gain of 200 in the Construction sector, along with gains of 100 jobs each in the Wholesale Trade; Information; Educational Services; Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation; and Government sectors.
From December 2006 to December 2007, RI jobs grew 3,300, a 0.7 percent increase. The largest annual employment gains in Rhode Island occurred in the Professional & Business Services (+1,400); Construction (+1,000); Information (+600); Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+600); Transportation & Utilities (+500); and Educational Services (+500) sectors. The national growth rate for this same period totaled 1.0 percent.
employment experienced the largest over-the-year loss (-1,400), followed
by Financial Activities (-500), Government (-300) and Wholesale Trade
In December 2007, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $13.98 per hour. The average hourly production wage was down one cent from November and up 59 cents per hour from a year ago. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.4 hours per week in December, down 0.2 of an hour over the month and 0.5 of an hour since December 2006.
Note: Current month figures are preliminary; prior month and year are revised. Data are subject to revision. 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. 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. The January labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, February 29, 2008.
About the RI Department of Labor and Training
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.