Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Rhode Island's Unemployment Rate Declines in November
The Number of Jobs Increases

Donna Murray - Robert Langlais
(401) 462-8751 - (401) 462-8767
Labor Market Information
December 16, 2005

Adelita S. Orefice, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, announced today that Rhode Island's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November slipped to 5.2 percent. The November jobless rate is down 0.2 of a percentage point from October's rate of 5.4 percent. This reflected a decline of 1,100 in the number of unemployed persons (estimated at 30,200). At the same time, the number of employed residents climbed by 4,700. A year ago, the jobless level was 27,200 and the unemployment rate stood at 4.8 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate for November was unchanged at 5.0 percent. Compared to a year ago, the national jobless rate is down 0.4 of a percentage point. Rhode Island's unemployment rate for November remained above the national average for the fifth straight month.

"The Rhode Island economy received a dose of pre-holiday cheer as our unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent, the number of employed Rhode Island residents increased, and the job count rose over the month," said DLT Director Adelita S. Orefice. "Although this is encouraging news for all Rhode Islanders, I am even more satisfied that the general trend in job growth continues to be positive. While job growth numbers will vary from month to month, and there will be inevitable bumps in the road, I am pleased that Rhode Island continues to grow jobs not just this month, but over the long-term."

Rhode Island Job Highlights

The Rhode Island job count (seasonally adjusted) increased in November, following three consecutive months of employment declines. Businesses in the state reported a gain of 900 (+0.2%) jobs, bringing the November job count to 495,400. Over-the-month employment increases were reflected in Educational & Health Services (+300), Government (+300), Financial Activities (+200), Professional & Business Services (+200), Leisure & Hospitality (+200), Construction (+100), and Manufacturing (+100). A monthly loss was noted in Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-100).

Nationally, payroll employment showed strong growth in November, reflecting a seasonally adjusted increase of 215,000 (+0.2%) from October. Job gains were reported in all eight economic sectors with the largest gains occurring in Construction, Educational & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality, Professional & Business Services and Trade, Transportation & Utilities.

Employment in Rhode Island was up 6,100 (+1.2%) from the 489,300 jobs reported in November 2004. Over-the-year employment growth was concentrated in Educational & Health Services (+3,900), Leisure & Hospitality (+1,900), Financial Activities (+1,500), Professional & Business Services (+900) and Construction (+700). Manufacturing (-1,900), showed the largest loss from last November followed by Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-800) and Government (-200).

Hours and Earnings

In November 2005, the $13.30 average hourly wage earned by the Manufacturing sector's production workers represented a monthly gain of seven cents per hour and an over-the-year gain of twenty-two cents per hour. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.0 hours per week in November, down 0.6 of an hour over the month and 0.8 of an hour since November 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.

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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 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

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