Unemployment ticks down, job gains continue for R.I. in July

RHODE ISLAND's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined from 4.3 percent in June to 4.1 percent in July. / COURTESY R.I. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND TRAINING
RHODE ISLAND's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined from 4.3 percent in June to 4.1 percent in July. / COURTESY R.I. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND TRAINING

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in July, two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the unemployment rate in June, according to a Thursday report from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

A year-over-year comparison saw the Ocean State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fall 0.3 percentage points compared with July 2017’s 4.4 percent unemployment rate.

July’s national unemployment was 3.9 percent, a 0.1 percentage-point dip from June’s 4.0 percent and a 0.4 percentage-point decrease from July 2017’s 4.3 percent.

There were 23,300 unemployed Rhode Islanders in July, a decrease of 700 individuals from June and 1,100 year over year.

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Nearly 42 percent, 41.9 percent, of the state’s total unemployed, or 9,779 individuals, collected unemployment insurance benefits in July. This figure represents a year-over-year decline of 659 individuals who collected UI benefits than in July 2017 but also an increase of 1,349 individuals since June.

The state’s labor force totaled 561,900 in July – an increase of 1,000 individuals month to month and 7,300 from July 2017’s 554,600-person labor force.

Rhode Island’s nonfarm payroll rose to 503,800 in July – an increase of 1,200 jobs from the department’s revised June figure. July marks the fourth consecutive month of job gains in 2018. Year over year, the state’s payrolls increased by 9,200.

Below is a sector-by-sector breakdown of job trends among Rhode Island’s top industries in July and how they compare to June 2018 and July 2017. Of the 15 sectors tracked, six saw job gains both month to month and year over year.

Per R.I. DLT's Thursday announcement, July marks the fourth consecutive month of job gains for the Ocean State. / COURTESY RIDLT
Per R.I. DLT’s Thursday announcement, July marks the fourth consecutive month of job gains for the Ocean State. / COURTESY RIDLT
  • Accommodation and food services: 1,100 jobs were added in July and 2,400 jobs were added year over year
  • Health care and social assistance: 600 jobs were added in July and 2,400 jobs were added compared with July 2017
  • Other services: 500 jobs were added in July and 1,300 jobs were added year over year
  • Wholesale trade: 300 jobs were added in July but the industry had a year-over-year decline of 200 jobs compared with July 2017
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation: 200 jobs were added in July and 500 jobs were added year over year
  • Transportation and utilities: 100 jobs were added in July and 400 jobs were added were added compared with July 2017
  • Information: 100 jobs were added in July and 100 jobs were added year over year
  • Government: 100 jobs were added in July and the industry’s employment remains unchanged from July 2017
  • Financial activities: 600 jobs were dropped in July while 500 jobs have been gained compared with July 2017
  • Retail trade: 600 jobs were dropped in July and 700 jobs were added year over year
  • Educational services: 300 jobs were dropped in July and 400 were added compared with July 2017
  • Professional & Business Services: 200 jobs were dropped while 1,200 were added year over year
  • Construction: 100 jobs were dropped in July while 900 have been added from July 2017
  • Manufacturing: Employment remained unchanged in this industry from June to July, yet the sector gained 800 jobs year over year

The mining and logging sector remained unchanged month to month and year over year.

Manufacturing sector production employees earned $19.30 per hour in July – a loss of 5 cents since June and 12 cents year over year. In July, manufacturing industry employees worked an average 40.4 hours per week – 36 minutes less than June yet an increase of 66 minutes since July 2017.

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.