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Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed
December 2019

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In December 2019, 43.3 percent of Rhode Island’s unemployed workers were eligible to collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Numbering 7,794 people these "insured unemployed" accounted for 1.4 percent of the State’s total employed (unadjusted).  More than 18 percent (1,430) of the Ocean State’s insured unemployed faced long-term unemployment, defined as collecting unemployment benefits for more than fourteen weeks.

More than 21 percent (1,643) of the people receiving UI benefits were between the ages of 35 and 44, while nearly 21 percent (1,597) were 45 to 54 years old. Over 22 percent of all insured unemployed workers 60 years and older had been collecting benefits for at least fourteen weeks, while 11.3 percent of those under 22 years of age and 12.0 percent of 22 to 24 years old were considered long-term unemployed.

In December, more than 42 percent (3,301) of those collecting UI benefits had just a high school diploma. An additional 1,047 people (13.4%) had less than a high school diploma, while 22.2 percent (1,731) of the insured unemployed had at least a Bachelor’s degree. Twelve percent of insured unemployed workers with less than a high school diploma had been collecting benefits for a minimum of fourteen weeks, while 24.9 percent of those with at least a Bachelor’s degree were also considered long-term unemployed.

On an industry basis, 18.7 percent (1,459) of the State’s insured unemployed workers came from the Administrative & Waste Services sector. There were also 1,169 individuals with an attachment to the Construction sector accounting for 15.0 percent of all insured unemployed workers. An additional 10.3 percent (799) of those collecting UI benefits in December had worked in the Accommodation & Food Services sector. Large numbers of insured unemployed were also reported in Health Care & Social Assistance (660), Manufacturing (656) and Retail Trade (573).

Those previously employed in Office & Administrative Support occupations accounted for 12.2 percent (951) of the State’s insured unemployed. A large number of workers previously employed in Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance (683), Management (608), Production (560) and Transportation & Material Moving (549) occupations also collected UI benefits in December.  Numerous occupational groups reported concentrations of long-term unemployment above the state average, including  Community & Social Services (45.8%), Legal (42.9%)Education, Training & Library (39.0%) and Business & Financial Operations (35.6%)

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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