October sees R.I. unemployment hold steady

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained the same – 4.2 percent – from September to October, according to a Thursday release by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

Rhode Island’s unchanged rate reflects a 0.9 percentage point drop year-to-date.

The nation’s October unemployment rate – 4.1 percent – was lower than that of Rhode Island and reflects a 0.1 percentage point drop across the U.S. from September and 0.7 percentage point dip from October 2016.

Unemployed Rhode Islanders were measured at 23,300 – a gain of 100 individuals from September but a drop of 5,100 persons over the year.

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Thirty-one and five-tenths percent of the total unemployed, or 6,709 Rhode Islanders collected unemployment insurance benefits in October. This marks a decrease from 7,051 individuals in October 2016.

Nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island was 495,800 in October, 200 jobs fewer than in September and reflects the third consecutive month of job loss. However, the nonfarm payroll has gained 4,600 jobs year-to-date.

Dropping 700 from September, the Rhode Island labor force was measured at 554,500 individuals in October, however, this reflects a 2,800-person jump over the year.

Additionally, in October 531,200 individuals were employed – a decrease of 800 from September yet a 7,900-person increase from October 2016.

The Massachusetts seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent in October. Over the year the Bay State has added 69,000 jobs including the 4,800 added in October 2017, according to the Massachusetts Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

  • Accommodation & Food Services: 700 jobs were dropped in October while the sector has gained 1,200 jobs year-to-date
  • Educational Services: 500 jobs were dropped in October and the sector has lost 600 jobs since October 2016
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: 200 jobs were dropped in October and 200 were also dropped year-to-date
  • Construction: 200 jobs were dropped while the sector has added 2,200 jobs year-to-date
  • Wholesale Trade: 200 jobs were dropped in October while 800 were added since October 2016
  • Government: 100 jobs were lost in October while the sector remained unchanged year-to-date
  • Other Services: 100 jobs were dropped in October and 200 added year-to-date
  • Professional and Business Services: 700 jobs were added in October while the sector has lost 700 jobs year-to-date
  • Financial activities: 600 jobs were added in October and the sector remains unchanged since October 2016
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: 400 jobs were added in October and 300 year-to-date
  • Retail Trade: 100 jobs were added in October and 200 year-to-date
  • Manufacturing: the sector remained unchanged in October yet reflects a 1,100-job gain year-to-date
  • Transportation and Utilities: the sector remained unchanged in October and has added 100 since October 2016

Employment in both the Information and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged in October and reflects no change from October 2016.

Manufacturing production workers earned $19.28 per hour in October, an increase of 26 cents from September and $1.02 year-to-date. They worked an average 40.4 hours per week in October, an added 18 minutes from September and 54 minutes from October 2016.

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.