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Labor Surplus Areas for Rhode Island

October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019


Effective October 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, released the following list of Labor Surplus Areas (LSA) for the State of Rhode Island:

*New Shoreham *Woonsocket

This list will remain in effect until September 30, 2019. Employers located in the labor surplus area may be given preference in bidding on federal procurement contracts. The purpose in providing such preference is to help direct the government’s procurement dollars into areas where people are in the most severe economic need based on their high unemployment rates.


Classification of Labor Surplus Areas

In order to be classified as a labor surplus area, a civil jurisdiction must have had an unemployment rate during the previous two calendar years (January 2016-December 2017) which was at least 20 percent above the national average unemployment rate for the same two year reference period. A floor of 6.0 percent is used during periods of low national unemployment in order for an area to qualify as a labor surplus area. The 6.0 percent floor comes into effect whenever the average unemployment rate for all states during the two-year reference period was 5.0 percent or less.

The national average unemployment rate during the period of January 2016 through December 2017 was 4.66 percent. Twenty percent higher than the national unemployment rate is 5.59 percent. Since 5.59 is below the floor unemployment rate of 6.00 percent, a civil jurisdiction must have a two-year unemployment rate of 6.00 in order to be classified as a labor surplus area.


RI Department of Labor and Training
Labor Market Information
Center General Complex
1511 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-8740
Fax (401) 462-8766
TTY via RI Relay: 711
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