Updated March 27 at 12:27pm

R.I. jobless rate drops to 10.5% in September


CRANSTON – The state’s jobless rate marked a fifth consecutive month of improvement in September, falling to 10.5 percent according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

A department report released late Thursday shows the rate is a 0.2 percentage point decrease from the 10.7 percent August rate and 0.8 percentage point decrease from the 11.3 percent September 2011 rate.

The September rate is the state’s lowest unemployment rate since April 2009.

Over the year, the number of unemployed individuals in Rhode Island has dropped by 5,200.

For the month, the number of employed residents was up 3,900 over August figures, increasing from 499,400 in September.

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, this represents the largest monthly increase of employed Rhode Island residents since the bureau implemented its current methodology in 1976.

Rhode Island’s labor force totaled 558,000 in September, up 3,300 from August, but down 4,800 from September 2011.

The state saw a 2,000 jobs gain in estimated nonfarm payroll for September, with the greatest gain, at 1,100 jobs, in the professional and business-services sector.

Gains also were reported in other sectors including accommodation and food services with 700 jobs, health care and social assistance with 400 jobs, retail trade with 300 jobs, transportation and utilities and education services with 400 jobs each, financial activities with 200 jobs, educational services with 200 jobs and wholesale trade with 100 jobs.

Losses were reported in construction and manufacturing, which each lost 200 jobs, and arts, entertainment and recreation, which lost 100 jobs.

Employment in the government, information and mining and logging sectors remained unchanged.

The average hourly production wage for manufacturing was $18.38, up 13 cents from August and $1.13 from September 2011. Manufacturing workers worked an average of 40.2 hours per week.

The U.S. unemployment rate for September was 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent in August and down from 9 percent in August 2011.


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