R.I. employment highest since 2008, as jobless rate drops to 9%
RHODE ISLAND'S UNEMPLOYMENT rate fell to 9 percent in November, a full percentage point lower than the rate measured in November 2012, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday. Rhode Island-based nonfarm payroll jobs totaled 470,600, the highest employment level since December 2008, when 472,800 jobs were recorded.
CRANSTON – Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dipped slightly to 9 percent in November from 9.2 percent in October, and dropped a whole percentage point compared with last November’s figure of 10 percent, according to statistics released Thursday by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.
Those slight, seasonally adjusted improvements accompanied the highest employment level since December 2008, with 470,600 Rhode Island-based jobs, and four consecutive months of job growth totaling 4,500 jobs.
The incremental good news was offered, however, in the context of a U.S. unemployment rate for November that was, at a seasonally adjusted 7 percent, much lower than Rhode Island’s. The U.S. rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point in November compared with the previous month and dropped eight-tenths of a percentage point year over year.
In Massachusetts, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported the unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent in November, down from 7.2 percent in October, but the month represented the first time since 2007 that the state has recorded an unemployment rate higher than the national rate.
The number of unemployed Rhode Islanders dropped to 49,500 in November from 50,400 in October. Since November 2012, the number of unemployed Rhode Islanders has dropped by 6,600, the state agency reported.
Meanwhile, the number of employed Rhode Islanders increased by 1,000 to 501,300 in November compared with October, and dropped by 5,400 compared with November last year.
Overall, the state’s labor force increased only slightly between October and November, rising by 100 to 550,800, while it dropped by 12,000 compared with last November.
However, Rhode Island-based nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 1,400 between October and November, to a total of 470,600 – the highest employment level since December 2008, when 472,800 jobs were recorded, the DLT stated. This also marks the first time since 2003 that Rhode Island has experienced four consecutive months of job growth.
Fewer cutbacks in the accommodation and food services sector resulted in a gain of 700 jobs, while employment in manufacturing grew by 500 jobs, chiefly in durable goods. Also gaining jobs were health care and social assistance, which added 200 jobs; retail trade, with 200 jobs; the information industry, with 100 jobs; wholesale trade, with 100 jobs; and mining and logging, with 100 jobs.
Employment in four sectors remained unchanged: educational services, transportation and utilities, financial activities and other services.
Declines were reported in construction, with a loss of 200 jobs in November compared with October, and 100 jobs each in professional and business services; arts, entertainment and recreation; and government.