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Government jobs in Rhode Island climb

Monday, August 24th, 2015

The number of government jobs in Rhode Island went up last month, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs totaled 486,200 in July, reflecting a gain of 3,300 jobs from the revised June estimate of 482,900. July’s employment level marks the highest employment level since March 2008.

During the past three months, Rhode Island has averaged a gain of 1,600 jobs and has added 6,200 jobs over the year. Since the start of the year, jobs are up 6,900.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2015 dropped to 5.8 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the June 2015 rate of 5.9 percent.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and eight-tenths percentage points from the July 2014 rate. This is the lowest unemployment rate since October 2007.

Employment in the Government sector rose by 1,000, stemming from growth reported in the local government branch. Government employment is up 200 from July 2014. Most of the over-the-month growth in the local government branch was in educational services likely due to many school districts extending the school year to make up for snow days.

Several other industry sectors added jobs from June, including: Retail Trade (+700), Educational Services (+500), Transportation & Utilities (+300), Manufacturing (+300), Financial Activities (+300) and Construction and Wholesale Trade, which added 200 jobs each.
The addition of 700 jobs in the Retail Trade sector propelled its employment level to the highest level since March 2010.

Jobs in Retail Trade are up 100 over the year. Also of note, the Construction sector has added monthly job gains for only the third time this year while being down 1,300 jobs from a year ago.

The Wholesale Trade sector has gone three consecutive months without reporting job losses as jobs are up 400 during this period and also up 200 from July 2014.

State to gain Rhode Island tech jobs from new initiative

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

A new initiative from the White House is creating more Rhode Island tech jobs.

The White House has chosen Rhode Island to be a part of the President’s TechHire initiative, a bold multisector effort to empower Americans with the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy.

TechHire cities and states work with employer partners on new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their skills, create more accelerated tech training opportunities, and invest in innovative placement programs to connect trained workers with entrepreneurial opportunities and well-paying jobs.

“We need to find innovative ways to build an effective pipeline of tech talent here in Rhode Island. That means training workers and connecting them to good-paying jobs in in-demand fields. TechHire is a smart step toward strengthening our technology workforce and growing the state’s economy. It can help remove barriers to training and employment and help more motivated workers learn new technical skills and earn a good paycheck. I applaud the state and its partners for developing local strategies to connect people to jobs and opportunities,” said Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Last year, Reed and members of the Congressional delegation helped secure $7.5 million in federal funding to support local workforce partnerships such as Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston and The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island and help them prepare local workers for high-level jobs in technology-related fields.

“I’m thrilled to see Rhode Island recognized by the White House for our innovative efforts to strengthen workforce development and prepare our workers with the tools they need to succeed in today’s economy and beyond,” said Raimondo. “Thanks to this recognition, we now are able to bring even more employers together to send a clear signal to the rest of the country that Rhode Island is cultivating talented, skilled workers and sparking a comeback.”

Considering education jobs in Rhode Island?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

If you are growing weary of your own career track, there are other industries to consider, including finding education jobs in Rhode Island.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, there are several under the radar industries to consider.


Craft Anything

Artisan cheeses, craft beer, craft Bourbon, etc., are growing in popularity and the number of producers of these goods are expanding rapidly. Approximately 1,250 craft breweries opened between 2009 and 2014, according to one estimate. The number of cheese-making establishments increased by 13 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to the Census Bureau. You don’t necessarily need special knowledge about making these products. In addition to the people who create the products, all of these newcomers to the burgeoning “craft” industry need IT people, accountants, marketing and sales professionals, logistics and operations managers, as well as numerous other support workers.
The Internet of Things

There has been talk of internet-connected refrigerators, cars and security systems for many years, but the technology and accessibility appear to hitting critical mass and adoption is beginning to soar even among the least tech-savvy consumers. This is opening up a growing industry of companies developing, marketing and supporting new applications for an expanding universe of internet-connected goods. While tech professionals will be the biggest beneficiaries of this explosion of connectedness, firms will continue to need administrators, marketing professionals, sales representatives, public relations, etc.
Legalization Nation

Four states (Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington) and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Several others have decriminalized it and dozens allow for the medicinal use of the drug. Several states are exploring full legalization. Regardless of where you stand on the policy, the fact is the rapidly changing laws are opening myriad employment opportunities for those wanting to get in on the ground floor of a growth industry. From legal growing operations to retail and every step in between, companies and businesses are looking for manpower. 
Re-educated Education

There will always be a need for qualified and inspiring educators and administrators. However, one need not limit his search to traditional school districts or even charter schools. In every state across the country, it is possible to find examples of individuals and organizations trying to break the mold of an education system that no longer appears to be working to its fullest potential. From pre-school through the highest level of education, there are growing opportunities to teach in new ways. While much of the growth is in online coursework, ranging from the free-to-all-users Kahn Academy to the low-cost-anywhere-anytime model of Udemy, there are also a growing number of face-to-face education opportunities that exist outside of the norm, such as private tutoring providers and home-school environments. Furthermore, education jobs are not by any means limited to teachers. As education becomes more technology-dependent, it opens up opportunities for consultants, software designers, curriculum developers and even game designers.

The Odd-Job Industry

If you need a ride to the airport, you can now use Uber or Lyft. If you need someone to build that new Ikea bed, you can find someone through Amazon’s Handy app. If you need a place to stay for a week in New York, you can use AirBnB to arrange to stay in someone’s home. Over the last five years, there has been steady growth in services designed to connect consumers with independent providers of goods and services, both on a national and local level. While some might make a decent living as a provider of these goods and services, the best opportunities are likely to find in connecting users and providers. These services need people to vet and manage the contractors, develop apps and provide support.

Rhode Island transportation jobs added

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Rhode Island transportation jobs, among other types of jobs, were added in May, according to a recent employment press release.

The RI Department of Labor and Training said that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2015 dropped to 5.9 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the April 2015 rate of 6.1 percent. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down two percentage points from the May 2014 rate.

This is the lowest unemployment rate since November 2007.

 Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 484,700 in May, reflecting a gain of 3,400 jobs from the revised April estimate of 481,300. Three consecutive months of job gains have provided an additional 6,300 jobs to the local economy. Nearly three-quarters of the 39,800 jobs lost during the state’s recession have been recovered as total employment is now down 11,000 from the peak level established in December 2006.

Employment in the Accommodation & Food Services sector continues to grow as 1,300 workers were added to the May payroll. In all, this industry sector has grown by 2,200 since the start of the year. Mild temperatures in May and a spectator crowd in Newport exceeding expectations for a world sailing race were contributing factors to the robust gain.

Jobs in Professional & Business Services rose by 1,000, marking two consecutive months of job gains totaling 2,400 jobs and establishing a record high employment level for this sector.

Preliminary data in May reports indicates that the Financial Activities sector added 500 jobs since April, the largest over-the-month gain since July 2000 (+500).

In addition, the Other Services (+400), Transportation & Utilities (+300), Manufacturing (+300), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200), Wholesale Trade (+200) and Construction (+100) sectors all reported over-the-month job growth.

A total of four industry sectors reported employment declines in May, led by the Government sector which fell by 300 jobs, followed by a loss of 200 jobs in each of the Health Care & Social Assistance, Educational Services and Retail Trade sectors.

Employment in Information and Mining & Logging remain unchanged.

Rhode Island healthcare jobs added

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The number of Rhode Island healthcare jobs may have increased, according to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment rose by 223,000 in June, compared with an average monthly gain of 250,000 over the prior 12 months.

In June, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.

Health care added 40,000 jobs in June. Job gains were distributed among the three component industries–ambulatory care services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000).

Employment in health care had grown by an average of 34,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

In June, employment in financial activities increased by 20,000, with most of the increase in insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+7,000).

Commercial banking employment declined by 6,000. Employment in financial activities has grown by 159,000 over the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.

Transportation and warehousing added 17,000 jobs in June. Employment in truck transportation continued to trend up over the month (+7,000) and has increased by 19,000 over the past 3 months.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in June (+30,000) and has increased by 355,000 over the year. Employment in mining continued to trend down in June (-4,000).

Since a recent high in December 2014, employment in mining has declined by 71,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, and government, showed little or no change over the month.

Funds go to help those get Rhode Island jobs

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Funding has been awarded to states help the unemployed get Rhode Island jobs, among other states.

Yhe U.S. Department of Labor awarded $80 million to workforce agencies — in 44 states and in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia — to provide re-employment and eligibility assessments.

The grants will fund services such as in-person assessments at American Job Centers. These assessments of eligible claimants include the following:

  • Development of an individual re-employment plan
  • Access to labor market information specific to the individual’s location, job skills and employment prospects
  • A complete review of the claimant’s eligibility for UI benefits
  • Referrals to re-employment services or training at American Job Center

For the first time these grants will be available to fund reemployment services for these beneficiaries. States will be transitioning to a new, targeted population during 2015 and will begin serving claimants who are identified as most likely to exhaust their UI benefits and claimants receiving Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members.

“Unemployment disrupts the lives of individuals and families and hurts our nation’s economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants will help the newly unemployed reduce the time between jobs and strengthen the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance program by preventing improper payments. By doing so, we can ensure unemployment benefits remain available for those who truly need them.”

Do workers with Rhode Island jobs know what to do in case of an emergency?

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Workers with Rhode Island jobs, among other locations, may need some serious education when it comes to emergencies, according to a new survey from Careerbuilder.

According to the survey, while the vast majority of workers (94 percent) feel their office is a secure place to work, nearly a quarter of workers (23 percent) say they would not know what to do to protect themselves if there was an emergency in their office that posed a physical threat.

When asked about their feelings of security in regards to specific forms of threat, three in ten employees (30 percent) do not feel their workplace is well-protected from a physical threat from another person, and the same percentage (30 percent) feel their workplace is not well-protected from a digital hacking threat.

Most workers (85 percent) feel their workplace is well-protected in case of a fire, flood or other disaster, and 83 percent feel their workplace is well-protected from weather-related threats.

One in five workers (21 percent) report their company does not have an emergency plan in place in case of fire, flood or other disaster, and 1 in 4 (26 percent) say the same of extremely severe weather. Even more workers (40 percent) don’t believe their company has an emergency plan in place in case of a physical attack from another person or a technology security breach.

“Ensuring a safe and secure work environment should be of the utmost importance in any workplace,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “Keeping employees protected means not only putting measures in place to keep them safe, but making sure employees are aware of the policies and procedures they can protect themselves, too.”

Retail jobs in Rhode Island show little growth

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Overall, the number of retail jobs in Rhode Island are showing little growth, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics information.

Over the past year, health care has added 390,000 jobs. Employment in construction rose by 45,000 in April, after changing little in March. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 280,000 jobs. In April, job growth was concentrated in specialty trade contractors (+41,000), with employment gains about evenly split between the residential and nonresidential components. Employment declined over the month in nonresidential building construction (-8,000).

Employment in mining fell by 15,000 in April, with most of the job loss in support activities for mining (-10,000) and in oil and gas extraction (-3,000). Since the beginning of the year, employment in mining
has declined by 49,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining. Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.

Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April. Over the prior 3 months, job gains averaged 35,000 per month. In April, services to buildings and dwellings added 16,000 jobs, following little change in March. Employment continued to trend up in April in computer systems design and related services (+9,000), in business support services (+7,000), and in management and technical consulting services (+6,000).

Employment in construction rose by 45,000 in April, after changing little in March. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 280,000 jobs. In April, job growth was concentrated in specialty trade
contractors (+41,000), with employment gains about evenly split between the residential and nonresidential components. Employment declined over the month in nonresidential building construction (-8,000).

Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.

Those with IT jobs in Rhode Island need social media presence?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

A new survey from Careerbuilder shows that people with IT jobs in Rhode Island may need a social media presence in order to get hired.

Hiring managers in information technology and financial services are the most likely to use social networks to screen candidates; retail had the lowest share.

  • Information Technology: 76 percent
  • Financial Services: 64 percent
  • Sales: 61 percent
  • Professional & Business Services: 54 percent
  • Manufacturing: 49 percent
  • Health Care: 49 percent
  • Retail: 46 percent

Forty-eight percent of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate – down slightly from 51 percent last year. The following are the top pieces of content that turned off employers:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs – 46 percent
  • Information about candidate drinking or using drugs – 40 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 34 percent
  • Poor communication skills – 30 percent
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. – 29 percent

About one-third (32 percent), however, found information that caused them to hire a candidate, including:

  • Candidate’s background information supported job qualifications –42 percent
  • Candidate’s personality came across as good fit with company culture – 38 percent
  • Candidate’s site conveyed a professional image – 38 percent
  • Candidate had great communication skills – 37 percent
  • Candidate was creative – 36 percent

Fifty-two percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up significantly from 43 percent last year and 39 percent in 2013.

More than one third of employers (35 percent) say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online.

Plan will create more Rhode Island construction jobs

Monday, June 1st, 2015

A new plan from Rhodeworks will create many new Rhode Island construction jobs.

RhodeWorks is a bold action plan to address the state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure.

Rhode Island ranks 50th out of 50 states in overall bridge condition and has lost 1,200 in the construction sector over the past three months. RhodeWorks is focused on solving these two problems at once, with the potential to create about 12,000 job-years over the next decade and make the state a more attractive place for businesses.

“Infrastructure is a critical component of rebuilding our economy and improving our job climate,” said House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello. “The proposal by Governor Raimondo is an investment in economic development, while getting people to work in the construction trades. Being ranked at the bottom of states with deficient bridges is a disincentive to businesses looking to locate in our state. The House Finance Committee will hold a public hearing and review the details carefully in the weeks ahead.”

“Governor Raimondo is making a very exciting proposal to put in place a system that will repair Rhode Island’s crumbling roads and bridges while reducing long-term costs on taxpayers and motorists,” said Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed. “The Senate looks forward to examining the details of the proposal, including any potential impact on Rhode Island businesses. It is vital to Rhode Island’s economic wellbeing that we invest in our transportation infrastructure. The Governor’s bold action plan aims to put thousands of Rhode Island construction workers back on the job now, while ensuring that roads and bridges are in good repair well into the future.”

“The shabby condition of our highways, roads and bridges is a serious impediment to economic growth that must be addressed quickly and completely,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “To put the urgency in context, ‘highway accessibility’ ranked as the most important factor to U.S. corporate site selectors in a comprehensive survey by Area Development magazine, up from its second place ranking in the previous year’s study. They note that the availability and condition of roads to, from, around, and away from America’s manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, industrial parks, and office complexes has become a more important economic development issue for the nation. States and communities that make the investments in increasing road infrastructure, and in existing infrastructure, will be in better shape for economic development. Governor Raimondo, Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Paiva Weed are taking on another important mega-issue. The Chamber will provide relevant feedback from the business community on specific costs, impact and implementation.”