The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2016 was 5.5 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the September rate. Over the year, the unemployment rate is also down one-tenth of a percentage point from the October 2015 rate of 5.6 percent.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in October 2016, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and down one-tenth of a percentage point over the year.
The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 30,600, down 500 from the September figure of 31,100. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 100.
A total of 7,051 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in October 2016,* down from 7,463 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 26.6 percent of the total unemployed.
The number of employed RI residents was 526,600, up 200 from the September figure of 526,400. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 4,200 from October 2015.
The RI labor force totaled 557,300 in October 2016, down 300 from September 2016 but up 4,200 from October 2015.
JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND
Estimated non-farm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 492,400 in October, reflecting a gain of 1,700 jobs from the revised September estimate of 490,700. October snaps two consecutive months of job declines which totaled 800 jobs. Since January 2016, a total of 3,900 jobs have been added to the economy. In comparison, the number of non-farm jobs was up 3,000 during this same period in 2015. Overall, jobs are up 6,600 from October 2015.
Employment in the Professional & Business Services sector rose by 900 in October, fueled by job gains reported in the professional & technical services and administrative & waste services sub-sectors. Over the year, the number of jobs within the Professional & Business Services sector is up 2,800.
After reporting a loss of 900 jobs each in September, both the Educational Services and Health Care & Social Assistance sectors responded by each adding 700 jobs in October. Employment in Educational Services is up 400 from a year ago, while employment in Health Care & Social Assistance is up 300 from October 2015.
The Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Construction, Financial Activities and Other Services sectors each added 100 jobs in October. Among these sectors, employment in the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200), Other Services (+200) and Construction (+100) sectors are up over the year, while employment in Financial Activities is down by 400 during this period.
Employment in the Manufacturing sector continued to trend down in October, shedding 500 jobs from September. The October job loss marks three consecutive months of job losses totaling 1,100 jobs. The number of manufacturing jobs is down 300 from a year ago.
Smaller monthly job losses were reported in the Accommodation & Food Services (-200), Government (-100), Transportation & Utilities (-100) and Wholesale Trade (-100) sectors. Among these sectors, employment in Accommodation & Food Services is up 2,800 from a year ago, while employment in the Government sector is up 100. The number of jobs in the Wholesale Trade sector is down 300 from October 2015, while employment in Transportation & Utilities remained even.
The October employment level in the Information, Retail Trade and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged from September. Over the year, Retail Trade employment is up 1,000 while Information Services is down 300. Mining & Logging is unchanged over the year.
In October 2016, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.74 per hour, up thirty cents from September 2016, and up one dollar and sixteen cents from October 2015. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.5 hours per week in October, up one-tenth of an hour from September and up eight-tenths of an hour from a year ago.
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