January 2018 unemployment rate holds fast at 4.5 percent


PROVIDENCE – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Rhode Island held steady at 4.5 percent in January, according to a Thursday release from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

January’s unemployment rate is 0.1 percentage points lower than the January 2017 measurement.

The nationwide unemployment rate for January 2018 was 4.1 percent, the same as it was in December and 0.7 percentage points lower than in January 2017.

In January there were 25,100 unemployed Rhode Islanders. This number is unchanged from December and has fallen by 300 from 12 months earlier.

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There were 13,072 individuals, or 44.4 percent of the total unemployed, collecting unemployment insurance benefits in January – 372 fewer than in January 2017.

Nonfarm payroll totaled 497,700 in January – a dip of 200 jobs from December’s revised estimate but reflective of a 6,100-job gain from January 2017.

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 556,600 in January, an increase of 300 people from December and 3,700 from January 2017.


In a statement Gov. Gina M. Raimondo said: “Rhode Island has come a long way since 2014, when the state’s unemployment rate was the highest in America. Today, it’s in line with the national average, and there are more jobs in Rhode Island than at nearly any other time.”

Below is a sector-by-sector breakdown of job performance in Rhode Island:

  • Accommodation and Food Services: the sector lost 700 jobs from December 2016 to January, while losing 600 jobs since January 2017
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation: 300 jobs were added from December to January but 200 have been lost since January 2017
  • Construction: the sector gained 300 jobs in January on a month-over-month basis, and added 600 year over year
  • Educational Services: 200 jobs were added month to month in January and 300 year over year
  • Financial Activities: 300 jobs were eliminated from December to January, but 700 were added from a year earlier
  • Government: there were 100 fewer jobs month over month in January, even as 300 jobs were added since January 2017
  • Health Care & Social Assistance: 100 jobs were added month over month in January, while year-over-year growth in January was 1,800
  • Information: the sector was unchanged from December yet dropped 100 jobs from January 2017
  • Manufacturing: Saw a 100 job gain from December to January, while its January-to-January increase was 1,300
  • Mining & Logging employment was unchanged month over month and year over year
  • Other Services: 100 jobs were added in January and 400 year over year
  • Professional & Business Services: while 400 jobs were lost from December to January, the sector added 2,000 year over year
  • Retail Trade: the sector was unchanged from December but lost 100 jobs over the year
  • Transportation & Utilities: the sector was unchanged from December but added 300 jobs from January 2017
  • Wholesale Trade: the sector added 200 jobs from December to January but subtracted 600 from January 2017

Production workers in the manufacturing industry earned $19.01 per hour in January 2018 – a loss of 4 cents from December but an increase of 61 cents from January 2017. They worked an average 39.5 hours per week in January, a loss of 2 hours and 18 minutes over the month but an increase of six minutes from January 2017.

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.