R.I. unemployment rate 3.6% in Oct.

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage points year over year to 3.6% in October, level with the national rate, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training reported on Thursday.

The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous two months.

The Rhode Island labor force reached 556,300, an increase of 100 individuals from October 2018’s total of 556,200.

Unemployed Rhode Islanders totaled 19,900 in October for a year-over-year decrease of 2,200 people. Employed state residents numbered 536,500, an increase of 2,400 from the previous year’s total of 534,100.

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Those filing for unemployment benefits showed a year-over-year decrease, with 5,739 in October 2019 as opposed to 6,434 in October 2018.

Nonfarm payrolls increased in October to 505,800 jobs, up 2,400 from the revised September count of 503,400 and increased by 8,900 jobs from the previous year, the DLT said.

Job activity by sector:

  • The health care and social assistance sector employed 84,200 in October, an increase of 3,000 year over year.
  • Professional and business services grew by 1,100 jobs to 69,700.
  • Government employment increased 100 jobs year over year to 61,200
  • The accommodations and food services sector increased by 1,200 jobs to 50,200.
  • Retail trade employed 48,100, a decrease of 900 jobs from the year prior.
  • Manufacturing decreased by 800 jobs year over year for a total of 39,100 in October. Production workers in the sector earned $19.22 per hour, a 34-cent increase year over year. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.2 hours per week, a decline of 1.7 hours year over year.
  • The Financial activities sector increased by 1,000 jobs to 36,400.
  • Educational services employment grew by 400 jobs to 26,300.
  • Other services employed 23,800 in October, a year-over-year increase of 200.
  • Construction employment grew by 400 jobs from the year prior for a total of 19,900.
  • Wholesale trade employment increased by 800 jobs to 17,200.
  • Transportation and utilities employed 13,600, an increase of 1,700 from the year prior.
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation employed 9,800, a year-over-year increase of 600 jobs.
  • Information sector employment increased by 100 jobs over the year to 6,100
  • Mining and logging saw no change from the previous year, employing 200 in October.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN staff writer. She can be reached at Graham@pbn.com. 

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