Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


The Rhode Island Job Count Increases for the Tenth Straight Month
Jobless Rate Edges Up

Donna Murray
(401) 462-8751
Joyce D'Orsi
(401) 462-8762
Labor Market Information
August 18, 2005

"The State's employment picture remained bright in July as Rhode Island businesses added jobs for the tenth straight month," stated Department of Labor and Training Director Adelita S. Orefice. "With this month's addition of 1,000 jobs, the economy continues to move in a positive direction."

Rhode Island's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 5.1 percent. The July jobless rate is 0.3 of a percentage point higher than June, but is unchanged from a year ago. The number of unemployed residents increased by 1,900 over the month to 29,200. This month's unemployment increase can be largely attributed to more people entering the labor force in search of work. Compared to a year ago, the jobless level is up 200. Nationally, the unemployment rate for July held steady at 5.0 percent. A year ago, the US rate was 5.5 percent. Rhode Island's unemployment rate for July was higher than the national average for the first time since June 2001.

Rhode Island Job Highlights

Rhode Island businesses increased employment by 1,000 (+0.2%) jobs last month, bringing the July job count to 496,200 (seasonally adjusted). For the fifth straight month, job growth was reported in the Leisure & Hospitality (+600) sector. Professional & Business Services establishments added 100 jobs over the month as well. Employment levels remained steady in three industry sectors - Construction, Manufacturing, and Financial Activities. Meanwhile, Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-300), Educational & Health Services (-200), and Government (-200) employers reported job losses in July.

July's gain of 1,000 jobs marks the tenth consecutive month of employment growth. Since the beginning of the year, non-farm employment in the Ocean State is up by 5,100 (+1.0%) jobs over the January 2005 total. During this seven month period, the Leisure & Hospitality (+1,800), Educational & Health Services (+1,300), and Professional & Business Services (+600) sectors reported the largest employment gains, while job losses were noted in Manufacturing (-1,200).

Over the year, employment was up 6,400 (+1.3%) from the 489,800 jobs reported in July 2004. The largest employment growth noted during this period occurred in the Leisure & Hospitality (+2,700), Educational & Health Services (+2,400), and Professional & Business Services (+1,800) sectors, offsetting over-the-year losses in Manufacturing (-3,100) and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-700). Since last July, Government employment has increased by 400 jobs.

Hours and Earnings

In July 2005, the $13.09 average hourly wage earned by the Manufacturing sector's production workers represented a monthly gain of three cents per hour and an over-the-year gain of just one cent per hour. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.6 hours per week in July, down 0.3 of an hour over the month, but up 0.3 of an hour since July 2004.

Note: Current month figures are preliminary; prior month and year are revised. Data may not be additive and is 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 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.

Rhode Island Labor Market Information is available on our web site at www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi
The August labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, September 16, 2005.

- 30 -

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

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