RI Unemployment Figure Falls, Now at 12%

Unemployment Rate Drops to 12.0 Percent

The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2010 was 12.0 percent, a decrease of three-tenths of a percentage point from the state's May 2010 rate. This represents the fourth consecutive over-the-month decrease in the state's unemployment rate, and constitutes a drop of seven-tenths of percentage point from the recession's high of 12.7 percent, reported from December 2009 to February 2010.

The U.S. unemployment rate in June also fell over the month, dropping two-tenths of a percentage point to reach 9.5 percent.


• The June RI unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point over the month.
• The number of unemployed RI residents decreased for the fifth consecutive month.
• The number of jobs in RI remained unchanged from May, as an increase private employment (+800) was offset by a decrease in government jobs (-800).

The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment —decreased by 1,900 from May figures, dropping to 69,300. This decline marks the fifth straight over-the-month decrease in the number unemployed. Over the year, the number of unemployed RI residents increased by 6,800.

Due to numerous eligibility requirements, the number of unemployed RI residents differs from the number of RI Unemployment Insurance recipients. The average weekly claim load for RI Unemployment Insurance benefits in June was 37,529, down 1,016 (-2.6%) from the May average of 38,545.

The number of employed RI residents decreased 900 over the May figures, totaling 506,800 in June. This is the first month this year in which the number of employed RI residents decreased. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents increased by 4,400, the fourth consecutive over-the-year increase.

The monthly decrease in the number of unemployed residents coupled with the decrease in the number of employed residents resulted in a total Rhode Island labor force of 576,100, a decrease of 2,800 over May and an increase of 11,200 over June 2009 figures.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: In June, Rhode Island nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged as the June job count equaled the revised May job count of 451,400. A gain of 800 jobs in the private sector was offset by the loss of 800 jobs in the government sector.
The largest employment gain occurred in the Accommodation & Food Services sector, which increased by 1,500 between May and June due to later-than-usual seasonal hiring. Large employment growth within the sector was reported in the food services & drinking places and in accommodation industries.

The Retail Trade sector showed signs of improvement in June as employment increased by 400, the largest over-the- month gain since May 2009 (+500). The Financial Activities; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; and Other Services sectors each added 200 jobs between May and June, while a gain of 100 jobs was reported in the Transportation & Utilities sector. Employment remained unchanged in the Manufacturing, Educational Services, Information and Natural Resources & Mining sectors.

Government employment declined by 800 in June with the release of nearly half of the 2010 Census workers hired in May. Also in June, the Professional & Business Services sector lost 800 positions, due mainly to losses in temporary help services, business support services and consulting services. Health Care & Social Assistance shed 700 jobs in June due to declines in ambulatory health care services and hospital hiring. Construction (-200) and Wholesale Trade (-100) were the remaining two sectors to report job declines between May and June.

June 2010 employment was down 7,900 (-1.7%) from June 2009, with job declines reported in several economic sectors including Retail Trade (-2,500), Manufacturing (-1,500), Professional & Business Services (-1,500), Wholesale Trade (-700), Construction (-700), Information (-600), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-600) and Educational Services (-500). Smaller over-the-year losses were noted Accommodation & Food Services (-300) and Financial Activities (-100). Five sectors—Health Care & Social Assistance (+500), Other Services (+300), Transportation & Utilities (+100), Government (+100) and Natural Resources & Mining (+100)—added jobs over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In June 2010, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $14.69 per hour. The average hourly production wage was down 7 cents from May 2010 and up 63 cents from June 2009. Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.9 hours per week in June, unchanged from May, and up one hour over the year.

The unemployment figures are based largely on a survey of households in Rhode Island and measure the unemployment status of people who live in the state. Unemployment rates prior to 1976 are not recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as official since the methodology used at that time is not comparable to today's methods. The establishment employment figures are derived from a survey of businesses in Rhode Island and measure the number of jobs in the state. Rhode Island labor market information is available at www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi. The July labor force figures are scheduled to be released on Friday, August 20, 2010.

The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island's workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov.