Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Job Count Continues to Trend Upward; Unemployment Rate also Rises (pdf)
    August 17, 2007

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training announced today that the total number of seasonally adjusted, non-farm jobs in the state reached 499,400 in July, up 200 jobs from the previous month.

"July represents the six straight month of job growth in Rhode Island," said Director of Labor and Training Adelita Orefice. "In fact, of the last 12 months, 10 have registered measurable job growth in the Ocean State."

Rhode Island's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, however, increased 3/10th of a percentage point from 4.7% in June to 5.0 % in July. The national unemployment rate also rose slightly last month, growing from 4.5% in June to 4.6% in July.

The number of unemployed residents climbed by 1,900, rising from 27,000 in June to 28,900 in July; however, it remained below last year's level of 29,800. The number of employed Rhode Island residents fell by 6,600 over the month to 545,500 in July 2007, down 2,700 from July 2006.

From June to July of this year, an employment gain of 500 was noted in the Manufacturing sector. Additional gains of 300 in Financial Activities, 200 in Health Care & Social Assistance and 100 in the Information sectors were also observed.

The increase in Manufacturing employment was reflected in both Durable Goods and Non-Durable Goods. Growth in the Financial Activities sector was driven by increases in insurance carriers, real estate companies and mortgage companies. The Health Care & Social Assistance sector reported employment increases in hospitals and residential care facilities.

The month's gains were partially offset by job losses of 200 each in the Construction, Accommodation & Food Services, and Government sectors; and losses of 100 each in Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.

From July 2006 to July 2007, RI jobs grew 6,600, a 1.3% increase. The largest annual employment gains occurred in the Professional & Business Services (+2,400); Construction (+1,400); Health Care & Social Assistance (+1,300); Financial Activities (+1,100) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+800) sectors.

Manufacturing employment experienced the largest over-the-year loss (-1,600), followed by small declines in Wholesale Trade (-300), and Government (-300).

Hours and Earnings

In July 2007, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $13.96 per hour. The average hourly production wage was up 4 cents per hour from June and up 58 cents per hour from a year ago. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.4 hours per week in July, down 0.9 of an hour over the month and down 0.5 of an hour since July 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 August labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, September 21, 2007.

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