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IT jobs in Rhode Island climb

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The latest employment statistics show that IT jobs in Rhode Island are growing.

Employment in information increased by 12,000 in September, with a gain of 5,000 in telecommunications. Over the year, employment in information has shown little net change.

Mining employment rose by 9,000 in September, with the majority of the increase occurring in support activities for mining (+7,000). Over the year, mining has added 50,000 jobs.

Employment in retail trade rose by 35,000 in September. Food and beverage stores added 20,000 jobs, largely reflecting the return of workers who had been off payrolls in August due to employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England. Employment in retail trade has increased by 264,000 over the past 12 months.

In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.9 percent. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in September for adult men (5.3 percent), whites (5.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent). The rates for adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (20.0 percent), and blacks (11.0 percent) showed little change over the month.

In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.9 percent. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in September for adult men (5.3 percent), whites (5.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent). The rates for adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (20.0 percent), and blacks (11.0 percent) showed little change over the month.

Macy’s hires for retail jobs in Rhode Island

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

With the holiday season coming up, Macy’s has decided to hire for retail jobs in Rhode Island, among other locations.

The retailer will hire for 86,000 positions at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers nationwide for the 2014 holiday season.

The company’s 2014 season hiring plan compares to approximately 83,000 in 2013 (an increase of about 3.6 percent).

Seasonal associates at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s serve customers on the selling floor, work in store operations positions, interact with customers via the telephone in call centers, and staff the distribution and fulfillment centers that coordinate shipments to stores and directly to customers who buy online or via mobile. 

The seasonal workforce has grown in recent years in the company’s network of online fulfillment centers in support of increased sales generated by the company’s Omnichannel business strategy.

In 2014, approximately 10,000 of the 86,000 total seasonal positions will be based in the direct-to-consumer fulfillment megacenters in Martinsburg, WV; Goodyear, AZ, Portland, TN, and Cheshire, CT, and well as in product-specific fulfillment centers in Sacramento, CA, Stone Mountain, GA, Secaucus, NJ, and Joppa, MD.

  • About 1,125 associates will be hired to interact with customers via telephone, email and online chat at customer service centers in Mason, Ohio; Clearwater, FL; Tempe, AZ; and St. Louis, MO.
  • Approximately 3,000 positions will be assigned to work in the fulfillment areas of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores that are equipped to fill and ship orders directly to customers, as well as to support the Buy Online Pickup in Store service available in every location.
  • More than 850 persons will be hired across the country to support the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Santalands and other iconic holiday events.

Employers are all for raising minimum wage for Rhode Island jobs

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

A recent survey from Careerbuilder found that many employers are in favor of raising the minimum wage for Rhode Island jobs, among other locations.

Employers surveyed think only 7 percent think a minimum wage of $15 per hour or more would be fair. Nine percent don’t think there should be a set minimum wage. Nearly half (48 percent) think a fair minimum wage should be set between $10 and $14 per hour.

  • $7.25 per hour (current federal minimum): 8 percent
  • $8.00 or $9.00 per hour: 29 percent
  • $10.00 per hour: 29 percent
  • $11.00-$14.00 per hour: 19 percent
  • $15.00 or more per hour: 7 percent
  • No set minimum wage: 9 percent

A majority say a higher minimum wage helps the economy and helps them retain employees.

  • It can improve the standard of living: 74 percent
  • It can have a positive effect on employee retention: 58 percent
  • It can help bolster economy: 55 percent
  • It can increase consumer spending: 53 percent
  • Employees may be more productive/deliver higher quality work: 48 percent
  • It can afford workers the opportunity to pursue more training or education: 39 percent

Employers who do not support a minimum wage increase in their state cite several reasons related to negative effects it may have on their business.

  • It can cause employers to hire less people: 66 percent
  • It can cause issues for small businesses struggling to get by: 65 percent
  • It can cause hikes in prices to offset labor costs: 62 percent
  • It can mean potential layoffs: 50 percent
  • It can lead to increased use of automation as a replacement for workers: 32 percent
  • Wages for higher-level workers may suffer and create retention issues: 29 percent

High schoolers plan to get science jobs in Rhode Island

Friday, September 5th, 2014

A slew of high schoolers are planning their career early and are looking to snag science jobs in Rhode Island.

According to a survey from Careerbuilder, high school seniors may be taking a more active role in providing a solution to the skills gap. Nearly three in four high school seniors know what career they want to pursue, and STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and math) top their choices.

According to the survey, 37 percent of hiring managers reported that they currently have positions that, on average, stay open for 12 weeks or longer, up from 35 percent last year. Comparing industries, Information Technology (52 percent), Health Care2 (49 percent) and Manufacturing (44 percent) all came in significantly higher than the national average.

For example, employment in industries such as Manufacturing had been on a downward trajectory for a number of years due to automation and sending jobs overseas.

Now, more Manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U.S., but the talent pool has shrunk over time due to workers moving into other fields and students avoiding related majors because jobs were being offshored.

From 2010 to 2014, there were an estimated 23,861 annual job openings for Machinists, but the number of college degrees awarded for this field was only 6,184 in 2013. Moreover, 25 percent of Machinists are ages 55 and older and approaching retirement, hastening the need to find replacement workers.
The Harris Poll survey shows the majority (97 percent) of high school seniors plan to go to college to obtain a two-year or four-year degree or other training that may ultimately help to close the talent gap. The most popular majors these students plan to sign up for are largely STEM-related:

  1. Engineering
  2. Business
  3. Psychology
  4. Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  5. Physical Sciences
  6. Arts, Visual and Performing
  7. Computer and Information Sciences
  8. Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
  9. English Language and Literature
  10. Math and Statistics

Are workers without diploma securing transportation jobs in Rhode Island?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

A new survey from Careerbuilder shows that while unemployment for workers without a high school is high, some of these workers could potentially secure transportation jobs in Rhode Island, among other locations.

As of this year, there are 115 occupations that require a high school diploma and pay $20 per hour or more on average.

Of those, 70 percent typically require moderate to long-term on-the-job training or apprenticeships; 30 percent typically require short-term or no on-the-job training.

High-paying occupations for high school graduates aren’t necessarily entry-level jobs. For instance, first-line supervisors, regardless of discipline, typically require 1-5 years of prior work experience.

“While the pursuit of higher education is the best bet for gainful employment, it is a myth that only good jobs go to college graduates and that workers with high school degrees are destined to low-wage careers,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “It’s important to note, however, that most high-paying jobs available to high school grads involve skill sets that require extensive post-secondary training or several-years’ worth of prior experience, and are often in fields that have seen declining employment in recent years.”
In several of these jobs, workers may need to attend vocational school or other non-college-level training programs to achieve licensure or certification. Additionally, entry-level requirements will vary by state, locality and employer.

Service jobs in Rhode Island grow

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

The number of service jobs in Rhode Island may have grown, according to the most recent ADP employment report.

Overall, private sector employment increased by 218,000 jobs from June to July according to the report.

Goods-producing employment rose by 16,000 jobs in July, down from 43,000 jobs gained in June. The construction industry added 12,000 jobs over the month, less than half last month’s gain. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 3,000 jobs in July, less than one-third the number of jobs added in June.

Service-providing employment rose by 202,000 jobs in July, down from 238,000 in June. The ADP National Employment Report indicates that professional/ business services contributed 61,000 jobs in July, down from 79,000 in June. Expansion in trade/transportation/utilities grew by 52,000, down slightly from June’s 56,000. The 9,000 new jobs added in financial activities was down 25% from last month’s number.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The July employment gain was softer than June, but remains consistent with a steadily improving job market. At the current pace of job growth unemployment will quickly decline. Layoffs are still receding and hiring and job openings are picking up. If current trends continue, the economy will return to full employment by late 2016.”

Payroll growth for businesses with 49 or fewer employees increased by 84,000 jobs in July. That’s down from 126,000 in June. Job growth was also down over the month for medium-sized and large firms. Employment among medium-sized companies with 50-499 employees rose by 92,000, down from 112,000 in June. Employment at large companies – those with 500 or more employees – increased by 41,000, down slightly from the previous month. Companies with 500-999 employees added 14,000, on par with June’s 15,000.

People with high school degrees check out Rhode Island jobs

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

What are the best Rhode Island jobs for people with high school degrees only? Careerbuilder took a recent survey to find out what the best jobs are nationwide for people without college degrees.

As of this year, there are 115 occupations that require a high school diploma and pay $20 per hour or more on average. Of those, 70 percent typically require moderate to long-term on-the-job training or apprenticeships; 30 percent typically require short-term or no on-the-job training.

In several of these jobs, workers may need to attend vocational school or other non-college-level training programs to achieve licensure or certification. Additionally, entry-level requirements will vary by state, locality and employer.

High-paying occupations for high school graduates aren’t necessarily entry-level jobs. For instance, first-line supervisors, regardless of discipline, typically require 1-5 years of prior work experience.

U.S. workers with only a high school diploma face an unemployment rate nearly twice that of college educated workers (6.1 to 3.1) and earn significantly less on average.

“While the pursuit of higher education is the best bet for gainful employment, it is a myth that only good jobs go to college graduates and that workers with high school degrees are destined to low-wage careers,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “It’s important to note, however, that most high-paying jobs available to high school grads involve skill sets that require extensive post-secondary training or several-years’ worth of prior experience, and are often in fields that have seen declining employment in recent years.”

Healthcare jobs in Rhode Island get a boost

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

With the new jobs report, healthcare jobs in Rhode Island appear to be growing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health care changed little over the month, with job gains in ambulatory health care services (+21,000) largely offset by losses in hospitals (-7,000) and nursing care facilities (-6,000).

Mining added 8,000 jobs in July, with the bulk of the increase occurring in support activities for mining (+6,000). Over the year, mining employment has risen by 46,000.

Employment in leisure and hospitality changed little in July but has added 375,000 jobs over the year, primarily in food services and drinking places.

Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change in July.

Overall, manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in July. Job gains occurred in motor vehicles and parts (+15,000) and in furniture and related products (+3,000). Over the prior 12 months, manufacturing had added an average of 12,000 jobs per month, primarily in durable goods industries.

Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in July and has added 648,000 jobs over the past 12 months. In July, employment continued to trend up across much of the industry, including a gain of 9,000 jobs in architectural and engineering services. Employment in temporary help services changed little over the month.

Overall, employment increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent.

In July, retail trade employment rose by 27,000. Employment continued to trend up in automobile dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores. Over the past year, retail trade has added 298,000 jobs.

Social assistance added 18,000 jobs over the month and 110,000 over the year. (The social assistance industry includes child day care and services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.)

Investments support Rhode Island research jobs

Monday, July 28th, 2014

A new initiative in the state is helping to boost those with Long Island research jobs.

The Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC), an initiative implemented from within Commerce RI, have awarded six recipients Rhode Island Collaborative Research Grants.

The awards will provide $445,092 in support to projects, representing 15 scientists from small businesses, research universities and hospitals throughout Rhode Island.

Award recipients include academic and industry scientists pursuing research in medicine, cyber security, engineering, chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences. The grant recipients are:

Antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of Inter-alpha inhibitors in Dengue infections ($70,092). • Carey Medin, University of Rhode Island • Yow-Pin Lim, ProThera Biologics, Inc.

Cyber security situational awareness with social-aware data integration ($75,000). • Lisa DiPippo, University of Rhode Island • William Matuszak, Adaptive Methods, Inc.

Next generation data storage systems for big data applications ($75,000). • Gang Xiao, Brown University • Qing Yang, University of Rhode Island

Development of a new molecular imaging platform: biosensor-enhanced Xenon-129 MRI ($75,000) • Brenton DeBoef, University of Rhode Island • Li-Qiong Wang, Brown University

Novel SiRNA delivery technology via biomimetic nanomaterial for treatment of joint arthritis ($75,000). • Qian Chen, RI Hospital • Wei Lu, University of Rhode Island • Yupeng Chen, RI Hospital • Richard Terek MD, RI Hospital

The program is designed to advance research projects that are collaborative across institutions, well positioned to receive follow-on funding, and with significant technology development and commercialization potential.

“This is the ninth round of STAC grants, an important source of jobs and growth to our economy. They are aimed at collaborative research projects, and bring together the experts from the private sector and our hospitals with the great minds at work at our colleges, universities and medical institutions,” Governor Chafee said. “I congratulate the grant recipients and look forward to learning more about the innovation and results the funding may yield.”

Employers plan to hire for finance jobs in Rhode Island

Monday, July 21st, 2014

According to a midyear job forecast from Careerbuilder, employers may be hiring for finance jobs in Rhode Island among other locations on the back half of 2014.

According to the survey, nearly half of U.S. employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount over the next six months, and one-third plan to hire temporary or contract worker.

The following industries are expected to outperform the national average for permanent hiring in the months ahead with Information Technology, Financial Services and Hospitality poised to experience the highest year-over-year gains:

  • Information Technology – 59 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 51 percent last year
  • Financial Services – 57 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 52 percent last year
  • Hospitality – 55 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 46 percent last year
  • Health Care – 54 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 51 percent last year
  • Manufacturing – 54 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 52 percent last year

While recruitment activity is notably stronger and increasing in enterprise organizations, small business hiring is holding steady and showing moderate improvement compared to last year.

  • 50 or fewer employees – 24 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, the same as last year
  • 250 or fewer employees – 35 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up slightly from 34 percent in 2013
  • 500 or fewer employees – 39 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 37 percent in 2013

Thirty-six percent of employers added full-time, permanent headcount in the second quarter, up from 34 percent last year. Ten percent decreased headcount, while 53 percent made no change to staff levels and 1 percent were unsure.

And 31 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter, up slightly from 30 percent last year. Nine percent expect to downsize staffs, while 56 percent anticipate no changes to headcount and 5 percent are undecided.