Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Rhode Island's Labor Market Remains Relatively Stable in June (pdf)

Donna Murray (401) 462-8751
Joyce D'Orsi (401) 462-8762

Labor Market Information
July 21, 2006

Adelita S. Orefice, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, announced today that Rhode Island's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was 5.5 percent, unchanged from May. The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents edged up by 100 over the month to 31,900 in June. A year ago, the jobless level was 28,600 and the State's unemployment rate stood at 5.0 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate for June held steady at 4.6 percent. Compared to last year, the national jobless rate is down 0.4 of a percentage point. Rhode Island's unemployment rate for June remained above the national average.

Jobs at Rhode Island businesses increased by 800 (+0.2%) last month, bringing the June job count to 494,300 (seasonally adjusted). Over-the-month job gains in Government (+800), Leisure & Hospitality (+500), Construction (+200), Financial Activities (+100), and Other Services (+100) offset a 500 job loss reported in Trade, Transportation & Utilities. Manufacturing, Professional & Business Services, and Educational & Health Services employment remained unchanged over the month.

"The Rhode Island labor market showed little change in June as the job count increased by 800 and our unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent," said Director Orefice. "Looking at the bigger picture, I am pleased that the overall job growth trend continues to move in the right direction."

The increase of 800 jobs in the Government sector is mainly due to above-average gains in Local Non-education employment, as well as a smaller-than-average drop in Local Education. Leisure & Hospitality experienced a monthly boost of 500 workers, reflecting increased employment in Accommodation and Food Services. Less-than-expected employment gains in Wholesale and Retail Trade resulted in a loss of 500 workers in the Trade, Transportation & Utilities sector.

Over the year, total employment was up 2,700 (+0.5%) from the 491,600 jobs reported in June 2005. Annual employment growth occurred in the Professional & Business Services (+2,100), Financial Activities (+1,500), Construction (+1,300), Educational & Health Services (+900), Leisure & Hospitality (+500), and Government (+200) sectors, offsetting over-the-year losses in Manufacturing (-1,900), Other Services (-700), and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-500).

Hours and Earnings


In June 2006, the $13.48 average hourly wage earned by the Manufacturing sector's production workers represented a monthly gain of six cents per hour and an over-the-year gain of forty-two cents per hour. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.2 hours per week in June, down 0.8 of an hour over the month and 0.7 of an hour since June 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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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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