Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training



Rhode Island’s Unemployment Rate and Job Count Remain Stable in October (pdf)


    November 16, 2007

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the number of RI jobs in October 2007 held steady at 499,600, equaling the number of the revised September 2007 job count.

Additionally, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was unchanged from September’s jobless estimate of 4.9 percent.  The national unemployment rate for October also remained at the September level of 4.7 percent.

In October, the number of unemployed Rhode Island residents inched up only 100 to 28,600 from September’s level of 28,500. Compared to October 2006, the number of unemployed is down by 1,000.

On a related note, the number of employed Rhode Islanders declined by 200 over the month to 551,800 in October 2007 and rose by 2,700 from October 2006.

From September to October of this year, the largest employment gains were reported in the Transportation & Utilities (+300) and the Professional & Business Services (+300) sectors.  Smaller gains of 100 each were noted in the Construction, Information, and Accommodation & Food Services sectors.

The boost in Transportation & Utilities employment was attributed to reported gains in both school and charter bus employment, as well as increases in truck transportation and warehousing.  Within Professional & Business Services employment, gains were noted in Employment Services.

The month’s employment increases were partially offset by job losses of 300 each in the Educational Services and Health Care & Social Assistance sectors, along with a loss of 200 in the Manufacturing and 100 in the Retail Trade sectors.

From October 2006 to October 2007, RI jobs grew 3,800, a 0.8 percent increase. The largest annual employment gains occurred in the Professional & Business Services (+1,300); Health Care & Social Assistance (+1,000); Construction (+900); Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+600); and Other Services (+600) sectors.

Manufacturing employment experienced the largest over-the-year loss (-1,300), followed by declines in Government (-300), Wholesale Trade (-200) and Retail Trade (-100).

Hours and Earnings

In October 2007, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $13.94 per hour. The average hourly production wage was up four cents from September and up 51 cents per hour from a year ago. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.3 hours per week in October, up 0.1 of an hour over the month and down 0.4 of an hour since October 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 November labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, December 21, 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.