PROVIDENCE – Continuing its slow and steady decline, the Rhode Island seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 3.9 percent in September, according to a report from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training Thursday.
The local findings reflect a 0.6 percentage-point dip year over year. And, for the past five months, the state’s unemployment rate has continued to decline by either 0.2 or 0.1 percentage points.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has not been this low since June 1989, according to a statement by the governor’s office.
Across the United States the September 2018 national unemployment rate also dropped. It fell 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent in September. The latest data shows a 0.5 percentage point dip year over year.
Month to month, 500 fewer Rhode Islanders were unemployed in September for a total 22,100 – a decline of 2,800 individuals from the September 2017 count.
Nearly 6,700 individuals (6,665) collected unemployment insurance benefits last month, almost half the 13,620 which collected such services in September 2017. Those seeking unemployment insurance accounted for 34.2 percent of the total unemployed.
Rhode Island’s labor force was measured at 561,900 last month marking a loss of 300 individuals from August yet a gain of 6,000 year over year.
September saw Rhode Island-based nonfarm payroll jobs remain unchanged from August’s revised total of 502,100. Year over year, there are 7,000 more jobs in the state.
In September, the number of Rhode Island-based jobs was unchanged from the August revised employment level of 502,100. Overall, Rhode Island’s job count is up 7,000 from September 2017.
For four consecutive months, the state’s job count has held above 500,000.
Below is a sector-by-sector breakdown of job trends among Rhode Island’s top industries in September and how they compare to August 2018 and September 2017. Of the 15 sectors tracked, four saw job gains both month to month and year over year.
- Manufacturing: 600 jobs were added in September and 1,300 year over year
- Professional and business services: 600 jobs were added in September and 2,400 year over year
- Education services: 300 jobs were added in September and 600 year over year
- Construction: 200 jobs were added in September and 900 year over year
- Other services: employment in the sector held steady in September while adding 900 year over year
- Arts, entertainment and recreation: 400 jobs were dropped in September and 200 year over year
- Retail trade: 300 jobs were dropped in September and 500 year over year
- Financial activities: 200 jobs were dropped in September but added 200 year over year
- Information: 200 jobs were dropped in September and 200 year over year
- Transportation and utilities: 200 jobs were dropped in September and employment remains unchanged year over year
- Health care and social assistance: 100 jobs were dropped in September while 1,400 have been added year over year
- Accommodation and food service: 100 jobs were dropped in September while 1,100 have been added year over year
- Wholesale trade: 100 jobs were dropped in September and 500 year over year
- Government: 100 jobs were dropped in September and 400 year over year
Employment in the state’s mining and logging remained unchanged in September and year over year.
In September, the state’s manufacturing sector production employees earned $18.88 per hour – a loss of 53 cents from August and 14 cents since September 2017. Those individuals worked an average 40.4 hours per week in September – a loss of 30 minutes from August 2018 but a gain of 18 minutes year over year.