By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
(Updated, 10:40 a.m.)
CRANSTON – Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.8 percent in July, marking the third consecutive month of improvement for the state’s jobless rate, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training reported Friday.
That number is a 0.1 percentage point decrease from June 2012 and a 0.6 percentage point increase from July 2011.
It also is the lowest unemployment rate in Rhode Island since May 2009.
The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents, those who are available and actively seeking employment, also reached its lowest level since May 2009 at 59,900 for July, a drop of 400 from June.
Over the year period July 2011 to July 2012, the number of unemployed residents dropped by 4,400.
The Rhode Island labor force totaled 554,800 in July, down 400 from June 2012 and down 8,400 from July 2011 estimates.
The number of nonfarm jobs based in Rhode Island fell by 1,200 from June to July to 455,900, the lowest level in the state since April 1998.
The accommodation and food services and construction sectors each added 600 jobs in July.
The arts, entertainment and recreation industry added 300 jobs while the financial activities sector added 100.
However, the wholesale trade, government, information and transportation, and utilities sectors all lost 200 jobs in July.
The average hourly production wage for manufacturing was up 35 cents in July, reaching $18.57, and up $1.97 from July 2011.
The U.S. unemployment rate for July was 8.3 percent, up from 8.2 percent in June 2012 but down from 9.1 percent in July 2011.