R.I. unemployment slips to 2.7% in August

RHODE ISLAND’s seasonally adjusted unemployment in August was 2.7%, one-tenth of a percentage point less than July, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Thursday. / AP FILE PHOTO/LYNNE SLADKY
RHODE ISLAND’s seasonally adjusted unemployment in August was 2.7%, one-tenth of a percentage point less than July, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Thursday. / AP FILE PHOTO/LYNNE SLADKY

CRANSTON – Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment in August was 2.7%, one-tenth of a percentage point less than July, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Thursday. 

The DLT says the number of unemployed Rhode Islanders in August was 15,200, down 600 from July and a reduction of 3,900 from a year ago. Also, the number of employed residents was at 555,700 as of August, up 1,200 from the previous month and 4,100 more than August 2022, according to the DLT.

Overall, the state’s labor force was 571,000 in August, up 700 from July and 300 from August 2022, the DLT said. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in August 2022 was 3.4%, according to the department. 

The state’s total nonfarm jobs in August totaled 493,400, a decrease of 100 from July. These jobs exclude farming and some government, private and nonprofit workers.

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Also, the DLT said that through August, the state’s economy has recovered 94,400 jobs, or 87.1%, 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 August: construction; manufacturing; transportation, warehousing and utilities; information; real estate, rental and leasing; administrative and waste services; arts, entertainment and recreation; and other services. The administrative and waste sector has decreased for two consecutive months, shedding 1,500 jobs. The sector’s employment level is at its lowest since July 2020, according to the report.

Six industry sectors posted gains in August: wholesale trade, finance and insurance; professional, scientific and technical services; educational services; health care and social assistance; and accommodation and food services.

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

  • Accommodation and food services: 48,100, an increase of 300 from July and a loss of 1,700 year over year.
  • Administrative and waste services: 26,600, a decrease of 800 since July and a loss of 2,800 year over year.
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation: 7,200, a decrease of 200 since July and a loss of 600 year over year.
  • Construction: 21,600, a decrease of 300 from July but up 600 year over year.
  • Educational services: 25,100, up 100 from July but down 600 year over year.
  • Finance and insurance: 29,300, up 100 from July and 600 year over year.
  • Government: 64,300, no gain from July but down 1,300 year over year.
  • Health care and social assistance: 82,400 an increase of 900 from July and 3,100 year over year.
  • Information: 5,600, down 100 from July and 200 year over year.
  • Manufacturing: 40,100, a decrease of 100 from June and 500 year over year. Production workers in the sector earned $25.04 per hour in August, unchanged from July but up $1.20 from August 2022.

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