RI Job Count Continues to Decline; Unemployment Rate Inches Up (pdf)
March 21, 2008
The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that Rhode Island’s monthly job count declined by 1,200 in February 2008, reducing the number of jobs to 487,800. This represents the lowest job count since April 2004 (486,200).
In February, the number of unemployed Rhode Island residents—those residents who classify themselves as available for and actively seeking employment—increased to 33,400, an increase of 500 from January and a year-over-year increase of 5,000 from the previous February. The number of unemployed has been trending upward since March 2007, and the current jobless level is the highest since November 1994.
On a related note, the number of employed RI residents totaled 537,700 in February 2008, representing a decline of 4,100 over the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, the number of employed RI residents dropped 12,100 between February 2007 and February 2008. This represents the largest year-over-year drop in Rhode Island since November 1991.
Powell adds that the industries most affected by job losses in Rhode Island—Construction; Manufacturing; Trade, Transportation & Utilities; Professional & Business Services; and Financial Activities—are the same industries experiencing job loss nationally.
From February 2007 to February 2008, RI jobs declined 7,700, a 1.6 percent decrease. The largest annual employment losses in Rhode Island occurred in the Manufacturing (-2,400), Construction (-2,200), Professional & Business Services (-2,100) and Financial Activities (-1,500) sectors. Smaller losses were noted in Retail Trade (-900); Wholesale Trade (-400); Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-200); Government (-200); and Other Services (-100).
Educational Services employment experienced the largest over-the-year gain (+900). Other gains were noted in Health Care & Social Assistance (+800), Information (+500) and Accommodation & Food Services (+100).
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.