Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Rhode Island’s Unemployment Rate Holds Steady in December (pdf)
January 19, 2007

Unemployment Rates and HighlightsAdelita S. Orefice announced today that Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December, estimated at 5.2 percent, was unchanged from November. The number of unemployed Rhode Islanders edged down 400 over the month to 29,800 in December.

Rhode Island’s jobless rate remained above the national average, which held steady at 4.5 percent in December.

Employment at Rhode Island businesses decreased by 400 jobs last month, bringing the December job count to 493,200 (seasonally adjusted). Over-the-month job losses were reported in Professional & Business Services (-600); Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-400); Educational & Health Services (-200); and Government (-200). Small employment gains were noted in the Construction (+200) and Other Services (+200) sectors.
“Our unemployment rate remained stable last month at 5.2 percent,” said Director Orefice.  “Although jobs were down slightly, we did see an increase in the number of Rhode Island residents working last month.”


RI Seasonally Adjusted Estimated Employment


Employment losses in Professional & Business Services reflected a number of small job declines in Professional & Technical Services, while job losses in Trade, Transportation & Utilities was attributed to weaker than normal holiday hiring in the Retail Trade sector.

The increase in Construction jobs (+200) resulted from a milder than normal December, while Other Services (+200) posted an employment increase due to gains in Personal Services.

Over the year, jobs were up 200 from the 493,000 jobs reported in December 2005.  Annual employment growth occurred in the Financial Activities (+2,000); Educational & Health Services (+1,100); Construction (+800); and Professional & Business Services (+700) sectors; offsetting losses in Manufacturing (-1,400); Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-800); Government (-800); Other Services (-700); and Leisure & Hospitality (-400).


Seasonally Adjusted Non Farm Employment in RI


Hours and Earnings

In December 2006, the $13.44 average hourly wage earned by the Manufacturing sector’s production workers represented a monthly loss of four cents per hour and an over-the-year gain of fourteen cents per hour.  Manufacturing employees worked an average of 40.7 hours per week in December, up 1.0 hour over the month and 2.8 hours since December 2005.

Note: Current month figures are preliminary; prior month and year are revised. Data may not be additive and 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.

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Rhode Island Labor Market Information is available on our web site at www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi
The January labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, March 2, 2007.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training offers a wide array of employment and training services to both the general public and to individuals with unusual barriers to employment. DLT is ready to assist any job seeker, whether the goal is a first job, a better job, or a career change. Rhode Island's workforce is protected through the enforcement of labor laws, prevailing wage rates, and workplace health and safety standards. Temporary income support is available to unemployed, sick, or injured workers and a comprehensive rehabilitation program is available to those injured on the job.

DLT is dedicated to the growth and competitiveness of Rhode Island industry, administering a variety of training grants, tax credits, and apprenticeship programs to help employers. Economic indicators and labor market information are available for long-range planning. The Agency engages in active outreach, helping large and small employers retain their best workers or retrain their existing work force. At no cost to the employer, DLT will also screen job applicants, post job vacancies, and help businesses institute cost-sharing programs that can avert layoffs.

For more information on the innovative programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders at the Department of Labor and Training, please call (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at

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