R.I. unemployment dips in Jan., employment up 2.4K on year

THE SEASONALLY ADJUSTED unemployment rate in Rhode Island declined from an adjusted rate of 4.4 percent in January 2018 to 4 percent in January 2019. / COURTESY R.I. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND TRAINING
THE SEASONALLY ADJUSTED unemployment rate in Rhode Island declined from an adjusted rate of 4.4 percent in January 2018 to 4 percent in January 2019. / COURTESY R.I. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND TRAINING

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage points year over year to 4 percent in January, according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training Thursday.

The DLT also said that December unemployment rate was revised to 4 percent, resulting in no unemployment rate change month to month. The figure was initially calculated at 3.9 percent in December.

The number of employed in Rhode Island in January increased 2,900 from January 2018 to 496,000. From December to January, however, the number of jobs in Rhode Island declined 1,700.

Year over year the largest sector gains occurred in the educational services (a gain of 1,00 jobs), and health care and social assistance, as well as construction sectors, which each posted gains of 900 jobs. The sectors with the largest losses were arts, entertainment and recreation, and manufacturing, with job declines of 1,100 and 800, respectively.

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The number of unemployed in the state declined 2,000 people year over year to 22,300. Month to month, the number of unemployed increased 100 people.

The labor force was 556,200 in January, an 800-person increase year over year and level with December.

Sector by sector breakdown (listed from largest sector employment to smallest sector employment):

  • Health care and social assistance employment declined 900 workers year over year to 81,400. Employment in the sector was unchanged month to month
  • Professional and business services employment totaled 67,900, level with employment one year prior but a decline of 1,300 workers month to month; the sector had the largest month-to-month employment decline of any sector in Rhode Island
  • Government employment in January totaled 61,200, a 400-worker increase year over year and a 100-worker decline month to month
  • Retail trade employed 49,000 in January, a 500-worker increase year over year and a 400-worker decline month to month
  • There were 48,800 workers employed in the accommodation and food services sector in January, a decline of 300 workers year over year and an increase of 200 employed month to month
  • Manufacturing employed 39,900 workers in January, an 800-job decline year over year and a 100-worker increase month to month; the DLT noted that production workers in the sector earned $19.34 per hour in January, an increase of 34 cents year over year and 30 cents month to month; manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.7 hours per week for the month, a decline of two hours per week year over year and a decline of two-and-a-half hours month to month.
  • Financial activities employed 35,200 in January, a 400-worker decline from January 2018 and a 100-worker decline month to month
  • There were 25,900 workers employed in the education services sector in January, an increase of 1,000 jobs year over year and a decline of 100 workers month to month
  • There were 23,500 workers in the other services sector, an increase of 600 from one year prior and a decline of 100 month to month
  • Construction employment was 19,300 in January, an increase of 900 jobs year over year and a decline of 200 jobs month to month
  • The wholesale trade sector employed 16,700 in January, an increase of 100 jobs year over year and 400 jobs month to month
  • Transportation and utilities employment increased 400 jobs year over year to 12,600, a 100-job increase month to month
  • The arts, entertainment and recreation sector employed 8,500 in January, a 1,100-job decline year over year and a 200-job decline month to month
  • The information sector employed 5,900 in January, the same as December and a 100-worker increase year over year
  • Mining and logging employed 200 workers, the same as one month prior and an increase of 100 jobs year over year

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. Email him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.