In May 2016, 28.4 percent of Rhode Island’s unemployed workers
were eligible to collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
Numbering 8,169 people, these "insured unemployed" accounted for
1.6 percent of the State’s total employed (unadjusted). More
than 31 percent (2,546) of the Ocean State’s insured unemployed
faced long-term unemployment, defined as collecting unemployment
benefits for more than fourteen weeks.
Twenty-two percent (1,794) of the
people receiving UI benefits were between the ages of 35 and 44,
while more than 24 percent (1,984) were 45 to 54 years old. Over
36 percent of all insured unemployed workers 60 years and older
had been collecting benefits for at least fourteen weeks, while
30.7 percent of those under 22 years of age and 27.9 percent of 22
to 24 years old were considered long-term unemployed.
In May, nearly 38 percent (3,076) of those collecting UI benefits
had just a high school diploma. An additional 869 people (10.6%)
had less than a high school diploma, while 23.1 percent (1,885) of
the insured unemployed had at least a Bachelor’s degree. Over 38
percent of insured unemployed workers with less than a high school
diploma had been collecting benefits for a minimum of fourteen
weeks, while 28.8 percent of those with at least a Bachelor’s
degree were also considered long-term unemployed.
On an industry basis, 12.7 percent (1,034) of the State’s insured
unemployed workers came from the Administrative & Waste Services
sector. There were also 888 individuals with an attachment to the
Manufacturing sector, accounting for 10.9 percent of all insured
unemployed workers. An additional 10.9 percent (887) of those
collecting UI benefits in May had worked in the Construction
sector. Large numbers of insured unemployed were also reported in
Health Care & Social Assistance (878), Information (843) and
Accommodation & Food Services (707).
Those previously employed in Office & Administrative Support
occupations accounted for 15.9 percent (1,296) of the State’s
insured unemployed. A large number of workers previously employed
in Production (879), Food Preparation & Serving Related (558) and
Transportation & Material Moving (483) occupations also collected
UI benefits in May. Numerous occupational groups reported
concentrations of long-term unemployment above the state average,
including Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance (51.2%), Legal
(50.0%), Construction & Extraction (43.7%) and Protective Service