PROVIDENCE – After falling 0.1 percentage points month-to-month in August, the Rhode Island seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rested at 4.0 percent, per a report from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training Thursday.
August’s measure marks a 0.4 percentage point year-over-year decline from the 4.4 percent measured in Rhode Island in August 2017.
“When I took office the state’s unemployment rate was one of the worst in the nation at well over 6 percent. People were struggling. The consistent improvement we’ve seen is proof that our approach is working, and we need to keep going,” said Gov. Gina M. Raimondo in a statement Thursday. “It’s more important than ever that we protect our investments in job training and our innovative economic development programs to ensure we don’t lose any of the traction we’ve gained.”
Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in August, reflecting no change from July but a 0.5 percentage point dip year over year.
Eight hundred fewer Rhode Island residents reported bring unemployed, a total of 22,500, in August compared to July. Additionally, a 2,100-person decrease was measured year over year in the number of unemployed Rhode Islanders.
In August, 44.2 percent of the state’s unemployed population, or 9,574 individuals, collected unemployment benefits. August data shows a decline of 158 individuals year over year.
The state’s labor force was 562,200 in August reflecting an increase of 200 people from July and a 6,900-person increase year over year.
There were 501,900 nonfarm jobs in the state in August which marks a loss of 2,400 from July’s revised estimate – the first such decline since March. The figure also shows year-over-year improvement, an increase of 6,400 jobs from August 2017.
Below is a sector-by-sector breakdown of job trends among Rhode Island’s top industries in August and how they compare to July 2018 and August 2017. Of the 15 sectors tracked, two saw job gains both month-to-month and year-over-year.
- Accommodation and food services: Jobs declined by 1,300 jobs in August ending four consecutive months of gains, but the sector has added 800 jobs year over year
- Health care and social assistance: 1,000 jobs were dropped in August but 1,500 have been added since August 2017
- Other services: Employment declined by 400 jobs month to month, while 1,000 have been added year over year
- Wholesale trade: 300 jobs were dropped in August and the sector has declined by 500 since August 2017
- Manufacturing: Employment declined by 200 jobs in August yet 500 have been added year over year
- Construction: 100 jobs were dropped in August while the sector has added 700 since August 2017
- Educational services: Employment declined by 100 jobs in August, matching its 100 year-over-year decline
- Government: Employment declined 100 jobs in August while the sector remains the same from August 2017
- Transportation and utilities: The sector experienced a 100-job decline in August and added 300 since August 2017
- Professional and business services: 600 jobs were added in August and 1,800 were added year over year
- Retail trade: 500 jobs were added in August while employment declined 100 jobs year over year
- Financial activities: 100 jobs were added in August and the sector has added 400 from August 2017
- Arts, entertainment and recreation: The sector remained unchanged from July yet added 200 jobs since August 2017
- Information: The sector remained unchanged from July but lost 100 jobs year over year
Employment in the mining and logging sector remained unchanged month to month and year over year.
In August, the state’s manufacturing sector production employees earned $19.43 per hour – a loss of three cents from July but a gain of 51 cents over the year. Those individuals worked an average 40.6 hours per week in August – a decrease of six minutes from July yet an additional 24 minutes compared to August 2017.