workforce

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

COURTESY R.I. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND TRAINING
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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