Despite dropping nearly a half percentage point from March, Rhode Island's unemployment rate stands as the nation's worst according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for April 2014.
The RI Department of Labor and Training announced Thursday that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2014 dropped to 8.3 percent, down four-tenths of a percentage point from the March 2014 rate and down one and two-tenths of a percentage point from the April 2013 rate. This is the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008. The unemployment rate is down one percentage point since the beginning of the year.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in April 2014, down four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down one and two-tenths percentage points over the year.
New England unemployment numbers (April 2014)
Vermont - 3.3%
New Hampshire - 4.4%
Maine - 5.7%
Massachusetts - 6.0%
Connecticut - 6.9%
The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment—was 46,200, down 2,300 from the March figure of 48,500. This represents the ninth consecutive over-the-month decrease and the lowest unemployment level since July 2008. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 6,600.
The number of employed RI residents was up 3,600 over the March figure, increasing to 509,500 in April. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 3,900 from April 2013.
The RI labor force totaled 555,800 in April 2014, up 1,400 from March 2014 but down 2,700 from April 2013.
Estimated non-farm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 476,000 in April, reflecting a gain of 700 jobs from the revised March employment estimate of 475,300. After shedding employment in March, the April rebound marks three out of four months of job gains throughout the year, totaling 4,800 jobs.
The 17,300 jobs reported in the Construction sector in April represent the sector’s largest employment level since May 2009 and 900 more jobs than reported in March.
A gain of 700 jobs was reported in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector as payroll gains were noted in all sub-sectors. Large gains were also reported in the Retail Trade sector which added 500 jobs in April. Clothing stores, building material stores and convenience stores all added to their March employment levels.
Elsewhere, Government employment was up 300, followed by Financial Activities and Information, each adding 100 jobs. Employment in Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Mining and Logging remained
unchanged over the month.