Tax data-based revisions push R.I. job numbers in spring higher

RHODE ISLAND'S job growth in the second quarter was 1.25 percent better than originally forecast, according to a recent analysis by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.
Posted 11/5/12

WASHINGTON – A recent tax data analysis of the state’s labor market showed better job growth estimates for the second quarter of 2012 than originally reported from a monthly estimate, according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The new DLT-produced estimate shows estimated job growth for the second quarter exceeded original estimates by 5,700 jobs, reaching 462,800 jobs, or a 1.25 percent increase from the original estimate of 457,100 jobs.

“This data gives us a comprehensive picture of our workforce as it appeared in our spring,” said Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee in a statement. “I am particularly encouraged to see the improved performance estimates in some of Rhode Island’s high-growth industries, such as hospitality and health care.”

The second-quarter tax data shows “significant” increases in job counts in several sectors, including professional and business services, which was revised to 56,500 jobs (up 5.6 percent from estimates); accommodation and food services, revised to 44,300 jobs (up 5.2 percent from estimates); health care and social assistance, revised to 78,700 jobs (up 2.9 percent over estimates); and retail trade, revised to 46,900 jobs (up 4.5 percent from estimates).

However, the tax data also showed decreases in job estimates for private-sector educational services (down 7.4 percent from estimates); government (down 3.5 percent from estimates); and manufacturing (down 3.2 from estimates).

The tax data is derived from a virtual census of employers using more recent data. For that reason, they are considered to have a smaller margin of error than monthly estimates.

The monthly survey is calculated from a survey of 1,700 representative businesses. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the latest four quarters of tax data to revise a full year of survey-based employment estimates, and those revisions typically are released in late winter.

The R.I. Department of Labor and Training has chosen to release revisions on a quarterly basis to, it said, better track the progress of the state’s economic recovery.

The new DLT estimate also shows an over-the-year job gain of 1,800. The official estimate predicted an over-the-year job loss of 3,900.

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