THE SEASONALLY ADJUSTED unemployment rate in Rhode Island was 4.5 percent in March. / COURTESY DLT
THE SEASONALLY ADJUSTED unemployment rate in Rhode Island was 4.5 percent in March. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/TIM BOYLE

PROVIDENCE – While the February seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was revised to 4.6 percent from 4.5 percent, per a Thursday R.I. Department of Labor and Training announcement, in March the state returned to a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.5 percent.

The revision is due in part to an addition of 100 unemployed people in February as well as 100 more in the state’s labor force.

THE SEASONALLY ADJUSTED unemployment rate in Rhode Island was 4.5 percent in March. / COURTESY DLT

Comparatively, the rate is 0.1 percentage points higher than the 4.4 percent measured in March 2017.

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Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent from February to March – a loss of 0.4 percentage points from March 2017.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 532,700 in March, an increase of 700 from the February figure of 532,000. Over the year, the number of employed Rhode Island residents was up 4,200 from March 2017 (528,500).

There were 100 fewer unemployed Rhode Islanders in March (25,300) than in February, however, that figure has increased by 800 year over year.

Nearly 12,000 – 11,656 – individuals collected unemployment insurance benefits in March, accounting for 43.9 percent of the state’s total unemployed population. This figure represents a 1,354-person drop year over year and a 2,303-person decrease from February.

There were 498,300 workers on nonfarm payrolls in March 2018, a loss of 500 from February’s revised figures and a gain of 6,400 year over year.

Below is a sector-by-sector breakdown of job trends among Rhode Island’s top industries in March and how they compare to February 2018 and March 2017.

  • Professional and business services: 500 jobs were added in March and the sector has gained 3,000 year over year
  • Government: 200 jobs were added in March and 200 were added since March 2017
  • Retail trade: 200 jobs were added in March and 200 since March 2017
  • Other services: 100 jobs were added in March and 600 year over year
  • Transportation and utilities: 100 jobs were added in March and 400 year over year
  • Wholesale trade: 100 jobs were added in March and 100 year over year
  • Construction: 500 jobs were lost in March, the sector’s first decline in 10 months, but 300 were gained year over year
  • Health care and social assistance: 400 jobs were lost in March, but 1,200 were gained since March 2017
  • Accommodation and food services: 300 jobs were lost in March while 100 were added year over year
  • Education services: 200 jobs were lost in March, the sector’s fourth consecutive dip, and 900 lost since March 2017
  • Financial activities: 200 jobs were lost in March while 600 have been added since March 2017
  • Manufacturing: 100 jobs were lost in March while the sector added 900 from March 2017
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation: employment was unchanged from February while 100 jobs were lost since March 2017.
  • Information: employment was unchanged from February while 200 jobs were lost year over year

Mining and logging employment remained unchanged over the month and unchanged over the year.

Manufacturing sector production employees earned $19.41 per hour in March – a gain of 53 cents since February and 48 cents year over year. In March, those individuals worked an average 38.3 hours per week – a loss of 156 minutes since February and loss of 66 minutes over the year.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.