R.I. unemployment rate dips slightly to 3.1% in January

RHODE ISLAND'S seasonally adjusted unemployment in January was 3.1%, one-tenth of a percentage point lower than in December, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Thursday. ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO / LYNNE SLADKY

CRANSTON – Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment in January was 3.1%, one-tenth of a percentage point less than December, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Thursday.

The DLT says the number of unemployed Rhode Islanders in January was 17,500, down 700 from December. That figure is also 2,600 lower compared with the same month a year ago. Also, the number of employed residents was at 548,700 as of January, up 500 from the previous month but down 600 from 2022, according to the DLT.

Overall, the state’s labor force was 566,300 in January, down 100 from December and down 3,100 from January 2022, the DLT said. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in January 2022 was 3.5%, according to the department.

The state’s total nonfarm jobs in January totaled 496,700. That’s a 700-job drop from December. These jobs exclude farming and some government, private and nonprofit workers.

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Also, the DLT said that through January, the state’s economy has recovered 97,700, or 90.2%, of the 108,300 jobs that were lost during the pandemic’s shutdown.

Of the state’s nonfarm jobs, eight industry sectors lost jobs in January: wholesale trade; information; finance and infrastructure; real estate and leasing; professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; accommodation and food services and government.

The educational-services sector added 700 jobs in January, regaining most of the 900 jobs lost in December, according to the report.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls in Rhode Island by sector in January:

  • Accommodation and food services: 48,300, a decrease of 200 from December and 900 year over year.
  • Administrative and waste services: 28,000, an increase of 100 since December but a decline of 900 year over year.
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation: 8,500, an increase of 300 since December and 1,100 year over year.
  • Construction: 22,900, an increase of 500 from December and 2,100 year over year.
  • Educational services: 24,800, a gain of 700 from December but still an overall decline of 700 year over year.
  • Finance and insurance: 28,800, a decrease of 200 since December but an increase of 600 year over year.
  • Government: 61,800, a decrease of 1,900 from December and and 800 year over year.
  • Health care and social assistance: 80,200, a decline of 200 from December but still up 2,000 year over year.
  • Information: 5,800, a decrease of 100 from December but an increase of 300 year over year.
  • Retail trade: 47,700, an increase of 600 from January and 700 year over year.
  • Manufacturing: 40,600, unchanged from December and up 1,100 year over year. Production workers in the sector earned $24.32 per hour in January, an increase of 26 cents from December and 85 cents from one year prior.

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