Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Rhode Island's Unemployment Rate Remains Stable in August (pdf)

Donna Murray (401) 462-8757
Joyce D'Orsi (401) 462-8762
Labor Market Information
September 15, 2006

Adelita S. Orefice, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, announced today that Rhode's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August showed no change from July's estimate of 5.6 percent. The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents edged down slightly
(-100) to 32,400 in August. A year ago, the jobless level was 28,900 and the State's unemployment rate stood at 5.1 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate for August inched down 0.1 of a percentage point to 4.7 percent. Compared to last year, the national jobless rate is down 0.2 of a percentage point. Rhode Island's unemployment rate for August remained above the national average.
"Our unemployment rate remained stable even though job growth stalled a bit last month," said Director Orefice. "We are encouraged by the over-the-year employment gains in several industries, including Professional & Business Services, Education & Health, Construction, Financial Activities and Leisure & Hospitality."
Jobs at Rhode Island businesses decreased by 1,200 (-0.2%) last month, bringing the August job count to 493,700 (seasonally adjusted). Manufacturing losses in August (-1,400) offset Manufacturing gains (+1,200) reported in July resulting from changes in seasonal patterns. Since June 2006 employment in the Manufacturing sector is down 200. Employment decreases also occurred in Government (-500), Leisure & Hospitality (-100), and Other Services (-100), overshadowing gains reported in Financial Activities (+400), Construction (+200); Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+200); Professional & Business Services (+100); and Educational & Health Services (+100).

The monthly gain of 400 workers noted in Financial Activities reflected additional hiring in investment services and banking. Job losses in Government employment were the result of cutbacks reported at the local level.

Over the year, jobs were up 1,300 (+0.3%) from the 492,400 jobs reported in August 2005. Annual employment growth occurred in the Financial Activities (+2,100); Construction (+1,200); Professional & Business Services (+1,100); and Leisure & Hospitality (+1,000) sectors, offsetting losses in Manufacturing (-1,800); Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-800); Other Services (-800); and Educational & Health Services (-100). Government remained unchanged over the year.


Hours and Earnings

In August 2006, the $13.43 average hourly wage earned by the Manufacturing sector's production workers represented a monthly gain of five cents per hour and an over-the-year gain of twenty-eight cents per hour. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.0 hours per week in August, up 0.2 of an hour over the month and 0.7 of an hour since August 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.

Rhode Island Labor Market Information is available on our web site at www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi
The September labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, October 20, 2006.

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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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