R.I. unemployment stays at 3.1% in February; 1,900 jobs added

RHODE ISLAND'S seasonally adjusted unemployment in February was 3.1%, unchanged from January, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Thursday. ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO / LYNNE SLADKY

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 3.1%, unchanged from last month, but the state added 1,900 jobs, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training said Thursday.

The DLT says the number of unemployed Rhode Islanders in February was 17,300, down 300 from January. The total is also 1,100 lower compared with the same month a year ago. Also, the number of employed residents was at 548,800 as of February, unchanged from the previous month but down 2,700 from 2022, according to the DLT.

Overall, the state’s labor force was 566,100 in February, down 300 from January and down 3,800 from February 2022, the DLT said. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in February 2022 was 3.2%, according to the department.

The U.S. unemployment rate for February was 3.6%, up two-tenths of a percentage point from January. Nationally, jobs were up 2.9% from a year ago.

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The DLT noted that Rhode Island recovered 102,000, or 94.2% of the 108,300 jobs lost during the COVID-19 shutdown through February.

The state’s total nonfarm jobs in February totaled 501,000, an increase of 1,900 jobs from January and of 9,400 jobs from February 2022. These jobs exclude farming and some government, private and nonprofit workers. The DLT said total nonfarm jobs hit the highest level since March 2020 in February.

The number of private-sector jobs rose by 1,100 in February and is up 8,700 from February 2022.

Of the state’s nonfarm jobs, nine sectors reported monthly job gains, while three sectors reported a monthly decline.

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

  • Accommodation and food services: 49,400, an increase of 500 from January and 400 year over year.
  • Administrative and waste services: 28,400, an increase of 100 since January but a decline of 700 year over year.
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation: 8,600, unchanged from January and up 1,400 year over year.
  • Construction: 23,500, an increase of 400 from January and 2,600 year over year.
  • Educational services: 25,000, a gain of 100 from January but down 500 year over year.
  • Finance and insurance: 28,800, unchanged from January but an increase of 600 year over year.
  • Government: 64,000, an increase of 800 from January and 700 year over year.
  • Health care and social assistance: 79,600, a decline of 300 from January but still up 900 year over year.
  • Information: 5,900, an increase of 200 from January and 500 year over year.
  • Retail trade: 47,700, unchanged from January and up 400 year over year.
  • Manufacturing: 40,200, a decline of 200 from January and up 300 year over year. Production workers in the sector earned $23.87 per hour in February, up 9 cents from January, and 66 cents from February 2022.

The DLT said the January jobs report was revised up by 2,400 from a reported loss of 700 jobs, to a gain of 1,700 jobs.

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