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Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed
March 2016

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In March 2016, 38.3 percent of Rhode Island’s unemployed workers were eligible to collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Numbering 12,576 people, these "insured unemployed" accounted for 2.4 percent of the State’s total employed (unadjusted). Nearly 22 percent (2,724) of the Ocean State’s insured unemployed faced long-term unemployment, defined as collecting unemployment benefits for more than fourteen weeks.

Over 21 percent (2,673) of the people receiving UI benefits were between the ages of 35 and 44, while more than 23 percent (2,924) were 45 to 54 years old. Over 27 percent of all insured unemployed workers 60 years and older had been collecting benefits for at least fourteen weeks, while 14.3 percent of those under 22 years of age and 20.7 percent of 22 to 24 years old were considered long-term unemployed.

In March, more than 42 percent (5,327) of those collecting UI benefits had just a high school diploma. An additional 1,958 people (15.6%) had less than a high school diploma, while 19.4 percent (2,437) of the insured unemployed had at least a Bachelor’s degree. Over 16 percent of insured unemployed workers with less than a high school diploma had been collecting benefits for a minimum of fourteen weeks, while 26.4 percent of those with at least a Bachelor’s degree were also considered long-term unemployed.

On an industry basis, 20.0 percent (2,520) of the State’s insured unemployed workers came from the Administrative & Waste Services sector. There were also 2,519 individuals with an attachment to the Construction sector, accounting for 20.0 percent of all insured unemployed workers. An additional 9.4 percent (1,180) of those collecting UI benefits in March had worked in the Accommodation & Food Services sector. Large numbers of insured unemployed were also reported in Manufacturing (1,019), Retail Trade (904) and Health Care & Social Assistance (901).

Those previously employed in Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance occupations accounted for 12.1 percent (1,521) of the State’s insured unemployed. A large number of workers previously employed in Office & Administrative Support (1,431), Construction & Extraction (1,235) and Production (1,140) occupations also collected UI benefits in March. Numerous occupational groups reported concentrations of long-term unemployment above the state average, including Community & Social Services (38.4%), Education, Training & Library (32.2%), Business & Financial Operations (31.3%) and Protective Service (31.3%).

Claimant Characteristics 
For more information on Unemployment Insurance, visit the UI web site at www.dlt.ri.gov/ui.

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
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