RI Department of Labor and Training

Unemployment Rate Rises to 11.6 Percent (pdf)

December 17, 2010

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November 2010 was 11.6 percent, an increase of two-tenths of a percentage point from the state’s October 2010 rate. This represents the first over-the-month increase in the state’s unemployment rate since December 2009.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in November, up two-tenths of a percentage point from October.

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—increased by 800 from October figures, rising to 66,100. This increase marks the first over-the-month gain in the number of unemployed since January 2010. Over the year, the number of unemployed RI residents decreased by 5,500, the largest over-the-year decline since August 1994.

Due to numerous eligibility requirements, the number of unemployed RI residents differs from the number of RI Unemployment Insurance recipients. The average weekly claim load for RI Unemployment Insurance benefits in November was 32,082, down 966 (-2.9%) from the October average of 33,048.

The number of employed RI residents was unchanged from the October figures of 506,200. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents increased by 4,800, the ninth consecutive over-the-year increase and the largest over-the-year increase since April 2007.

The total Rhode Island labor force stood at 572,300 in November, up 800 over October labor force figures but down 700 from November 2009 figures. The over-the-month increase is attributed to the increase in the number of unemployed residents.

Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 449,900 in November, reflecting a loss of 1,200 jobs from the revised October employment figure. The November decrease in payroll employment included small job losses across several industry sectors.

The largest over-the month decline was noted in the Construction sector, which reported 400 fewer jobs in November, due mainly to job losses among the specialty trade contractors industry and the construction of buildings industry. The Manufacturing sector and the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector each reported a decline of 200 jobs from October. Also, eight industry sectors—Retail Trade, Transportation & Utilities,

Educational Services, Health Care & Social Assistance, Government, Wholesale Trade, Accommodation & Food Services and Other Services—each reported an employment decline of 100 over the month.

However, the Financial Activities sector and the Information sector each added 200 jobs over the month. Employment in the Professional & Business Services sector and the Natural Resources & Mining sector was unchanged.

The number of Rhode Island-based jobs decreased by 3,200 (-0.7%) between November 2009 on November 2010. Over-the-year job losses were noted in several economic sectors including Professional & Business Services (-1,300), Educational Services (-1,300), Manufacturing (-1,200), Retail Trade (-700), Wholesale Trade (-500), Construction (-500), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-300), Health Care & Social Assistance (-200) and Government (-100).

However, employment in six sectors—Other Services (+1,000), Financial Activities (+600), Accommodation & Food Services (+500), Information (+400), Transportation & Utilities (+300) and Natural Resources & Mining (+100)—was up over the year. 

MANUFACTURING: In November 2010, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $14.87 per hour. The average hourly production wage was up three cents from October 2010 and up 53 cents from November 2009. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.2 hours per week in November, up three-tenths of an hour from October, and up an hour and six-tenths over the year.

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. Unemployment rates prior to 1976 are not recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as official since the methodology used at that time is not comparable to today’s methods. 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 December labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, January 21, 2011.

The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Islandís 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.