R.I. unemployment rate increases 0.1% in November


PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points from its October 2017 measurement to 4.3 percent in November 2017, according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training Thursday.

The state’s November measurement also reflects a 0.7 percentage point dip from the November 2016 unemployment rate.

Holding steady from October 2017, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in November – a dip of 0.5 percentage points from November 2016.

Nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 497,700 – a 600-job bump from the revised October employment level (497,100). Through the first 11 months of the year, 6,400 more people are employed. The 12-month job gain is 5,500.

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There were 530,700 employed Rhode Islanders in November – a decrease of 800 individuals from October and an increase of 7,300 from November 2016.

Additionally, the labor force totaled 554,700 in November, a 100-person month-over-month decline but a gain of 3,600 over the year.

There were 24,000 unemployed Rhode Islanders (those in the labor force and actively seeking employment) in November – a gain of 700 from October – whereas the figure stood at 27,800 a year ago.

Of the total unemployed, 7,235 individuals, or 30.4 percent, collected unemployment insurance benefits in November, a dip from the 7,294 in November 2016.


The Massachusetts unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points in November to 3.6 percent while adding 6,700 jobs that month.

Below is a sector-by-sector breakdown of job performance in Rhode Island:

  • Accommodation and Food Services: 700 jobs added in November and 2,100 over the year
  • Construction: 500 jobs were added in November and 2,400 over the year
  • Manufacturing: 400 jobs were added in November and 1,500 since November 2016
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: 300 jobs were added in November and 500 over the year
  • Educational Services: 300 jobs were added in November and 400 since November 2016
  • Information: 100 jobs were added in November and the sector has dropped 200 over the year
  • Transportation and Utilities: 100 jobs were added in November and 200 since November 2016
  • Other services: the sector remained unchanged in November but has gained 300 jobs year-to-date
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: 100 jobs were lost in November and 800 year-to-date
  • Wholesale Trade: 200 jobs were lost in November while the sector has added 700 from November 2016
  • Financial Activities: 200 jobs were lost in November but the sector has added 200 year to date
  • Government: 200 jobs were lost in November and the sector has lost 300 jobs since November 2016
  • Retail Trade: 300 jobs were dropped in November and the sector has lost 100 since November 2016
  • Professional and Business Services: 800 jobs were lost in November and the sector has lost 1,400 year over year

The mining and logging industry had no change from October to November 2017 nor year to date.

Production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $19.60 per hour in November 2017 – a gain of 36 cents from October and $1 from November 2016. They worked an average 40.2 hours per week in November – a loss of 12 minutes since October but a gain of 24 minutes from November 2016.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.