RI Unemployment Rate Declines; Job Count Continues to Grow (pdf)
The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September fell 0.2 of a percentage point from August, reversing a two-month increase. In comparison, the national unemployment rate inched up 0.1 of a percentage point to 4.7 percent last month.
The number of unemployed RI residents in September stood at 28,500, reflecting a drop of 300 from the August level of 28,800 and a decline of 1,200 from last year’s level of 29,700. The number of employed Rhode Islanders climbed by 9,900 over the month to 552,000 in September 2007 and was up 2,700 from September 2006.
On a related note, the total number of seasonally adjusted, non-farm jobs in the state reached 499,800 in September, up 300 jobs from the previous month.
“This represents the eighth consecutive month of job growth in Rhode Island,” says Adelita Orefice, director of the RI Department of Labor and Training.
The number of RI jobs in September represented a net job gain of 300 from August’s revised job count of 499,500. Ocean State employment has grown by 3,900 jobs since the beginning of the year.
The boost in Accommodation & Food Services employment was attributed to reported gains in the state’s restaurant industry. Within Other Services employment, increases were noted in Repair & Maintenance Services and in Personal Services. The gain in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector was due mainly to an increase in social assistance employment.
The month’s gains were partially offset by job losses of 300 each in the Professional & Business Services, Educational Services, and Government sectors, along with a loss of 100 each in the Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, and Information sectors.
From September 2006 to September 2007, RI jobs grew 4,300, a 0.9 percent increase. The largest annual employment gains occurred in the Professional & Business Services (+1,800); Health Care & Social Assistance (+1,300); Construction (+1,100); and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+900) sectors.
Manufacturing employment experienced the largest over-the-year loss (-1,400), followed by declines in Government (-700) and Wholesale Trade (-400).
In September 2007, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $13.95 per hour. The average hourly production wage was up one cent from August and up 50 cents per hour from a year ago. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.5 hours per week in September, unchanged over the month and up 0.3 of an hour since September 2006.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 October labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, November 16, 2007.
About the RI Department of Labor and Training
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.