Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


The Rhode Island Job Count Increases for the Seventh Straight Month
Jobless Rate Rises in April

Contact:Robert Langlais (401) 462-8767
Donna Murray (401) 462-8751
Labor MArket Information
May 20, 2005

"The Rhode Island economy continued its steady growth as it added jobs for the seventh straight month in April," said Department of Labor and Training Director Adelita S. Orefice. "As the job market improves, it's not unusual for the unemployment rate to increase slightly as more people enter the labor force looking for work."

Rhode Island's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 4.7 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from the March estimate of 4.5 percent. The number of employed Rhode Island residents rose by 2,400 over the month, while the number of unemployed increased by 1,300 to 26,700 in April. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, and the number of unemployed stood at 30,000. Nationally, the unemployment rate for April held steady at 5.2 percent and was down from 5.5 percent a year ago. Rhode Island's unemployment rate has remained below the national average since August 2001.

Rhode Island Job Highlights

Jobs at Rhode Island businesses increased by 700 (+0.1%) last month, bringing the April job count to 493,000 (seasonally adjusted). Revised March estimates indicated that jobs had actually gone up in March by 300 (preliminary figures showed a monthly drop of 100). That increase, coupled with the April gain, marked the seventh month of successive job gains.

Job growth was reported in several private sectors, including Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+600), Professional & Business Services (+400), Leisure & Hospitality (+200), Educational & Health Services (+100), and Construction (+100). The Manufacturing sector shed 800 jobs over the month, and employment in Financial Activities declined by 100. Government employment increased by 300 over the month.

Over the year, employment was up 6,300 (+1.3%) from the 486,700 jobs reported in April 2004. The largest job gains were noted in Professional & Business Services (+2,800); Educational & Health Services (+2,500); Leisure & Hospitality (+2,200); and Financial Activities (+1,100). The Manufacturing sector (-1,900) was the only sector to report a yearly decline. Government employment increased by 500 jobs.

Hours and Earnings


In April 2005, the $13.04 average hourly wage earned by the Manufacturing sector's production workers represented a monthly gain of five cents and an over-the-year gain of four cents. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.4 hours a week in April, up 0.5 of an hour over the month, but down 0.8 of an hour from last year.

Note: Current month figures are preliminary; prior month and year are revised.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 employment figures in the "Rhode Island Job Highlights" section are derived from a survey of businesses in Rhode Island and measure the number of jobs in the state.

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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 work force is protected through the enforcement of labor laws, prevailing wage rates, and work place 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 our web site at www.dlt.ri.gov

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TDD (401) 462-8006