R.I. jobless rate drops to 7.9% in June, labor force improves

The Rhode Island unemployment rate has dropped to 7.9 percent in June, its lowest level since July of 2008, according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training. Nationally, however, the Rhode Island unemployment rate remains 1.8 percent higher than the U.S. average of 6.1 percent for June. More

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R.I. jobless rate drops to 7.9% in June, labor force improves

COURTESY R.I. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND TRAINING
THE R.I. DEPARTMENT of Labor and Training said Thursday that Rhode Island's unemployment rate dropped to 7.9 percent in June from May's rate of 8.2 percent. Meanwhile, the labor force increased on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis for the second time this year, totaling 559,600.
Posted 7/17/14

(Updated, July 18, 8:53 a.m.)

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island unemployment rate has dropped to 7.9 percent in June, its lowest level since July of 2008, according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The decline is three-tenths of a percentage point lower than the 8.2 percent figure for May and 1.6 percentage points lower than a year ago. Nationally, however, the Rhode Island unemployment rate remains 1.8 percent higher than the U.S. average of 6.1 percent for June, the DLT said.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate fell in June to 5.5 percent, the Boston Business Journal reported.

Other favorable indicators in Rhode Island include a drop in the number of unemployed Rhode Island residents by 1,400, declining from 45,600 in May to 44,200 in June, the DLT said. The decline is the lowest unemployment level since June of 2008, and represents an 11th consecutive month-to-month decrease, the agency said.

At the same time, the number of employed residents in the state increased by 3,200 from May to June, from 512,200 to 515,400. Compared with last June, the number was up by 11,800, DLT reported.

Overall, the Rhode Island labor force rose month to month and year over year in June to a total of 559,600 – 1,800 higher than in from May and 2,900 higher compared with last year. June represented the second time this year that the labor force improved on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis.

From May to June, estimated nonfarm payroll in the state declined by 400 jobs, dropping from 477,500 to 477,100. During that period, employment declined in seven areas, with the largest losses in construction and the accommodation and food service sectors. Combined, those two sectors lost a total of 500 jobs.

Other losses included 400 jobs lost in health care and social assistance, particularly in the ambulatory health care services subsector; 300 jobs lost in educational services; 200 jobs lost in government; 100 jobs lost in professional and business services; and 100 jobs lost in the sector classified as “other.”

Those losses, however, were offset by job gains in five areas: financial activities, which gained 700 jobs; retail trade, which gained 500 jobs; arts, entertainment and recreation, which gained 200 jobs; transportation and utilities, which gained 200 jobs; and manufacturing, which gained 100 jobs.

Unchanged sectors included information, wholesale trade and mining and logging.

Year over year, total nonfarm employment increased by 4,700 jobs in eight sectors, but dropped in six sectors and remained unchanged in one.

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