Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Job Count in Rhode Island Reaches a New Record-High Level (pdf)

May 18, 2007


The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training announced today that the total number of non-farm jobs in the state reached a new record-high level of 498,400 in April. The number of jobs in Rhode Island grew by 1,800 over the month with modest gains spread throughout most industry sectors. April represents the third straight month of job growth as Rhode Island jobs have increased in seven out of the last nine months.

In related news, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.5 percent in April from 4.2 percent in March. This puts Rhode Island's unemployment rate even with the US jobless rate.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents dropped (-3,900) in April to its lowest level this year (549,800) but is still 1,800 above last April. The number of unemployed residents rose by 1,900 last month to 25,900 but remains well below our year ago level of 29,900.

The new record high number of jobs in April (498,400) represented a net job gain of 1,800 from March's revised job count of 496,600. The April increase was the largest monthly gain observed in seven months. Employment gains of 400 each were noted in Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, and Accommodation & Food Services; with gains of 300 each in Construction, Professional & Business Services, and Government; and gains of 200 each in Information and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation. These gains were partially offset by job losses reported in Financial Activities (-300), Retail Trade (-200), Transportation & Utilities (-100), and Health Care & Social Assistance (-100). Natural Resources & Mining, Educational Services, and Other Services employment remained unchanged over the month.

The increase in Accommodation & Food Services was influenced by growth in restaurant employment. Manufacturing gains were noted in both Durable Goods and Nondurable Goods employment. Construction employment increased as a result of several construction projects underway throughout the state. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation experienced an influx of new workers at a major entertainment venue which re-opened in northern Rhode Island.

Over the year, jobs were up 4,500 from the 493,900 jobs reported in April 2006. The largest annual employment gains occurred in the Professional & Business Services (+2,000); Financial Activities (+1,300); Health Care & Social Assistance (+1,300) and Construction (+1,100) sectors.

These gains overshadowed losses in Manufacturing (-1,800); Government (-400); Accommodation & Food Services
(-300); Retail Trade (-200); Transportation & Utilities (-100); and Information (-100).

Hours and Earnings

In April 2007, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $13.67 per hour. The average hourly production wage was up twenty cents per hour from March and up sixteen cents from a year ago. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.4 hours per week in April, down 0.6 of an hour over the month and up 0.9 of an hour since April 2006.

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.

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 May labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, June 15, 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 www.dlt.ri.gov

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
TDD (401) 462-8006