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Are employers recruiting for Rhode Island HR jobs?

January 6th, 2014

As the new year begins, a survey from CareerBuilder points to the possibility that employers may be recruiting for Rhode Island HR jobs.

The survey shows that employers are actively looking for these jobs in 2014:

Sales – 30 percent
Information Technology – 29 percent
Customer Service – 25 percent
Production – 24 percent
Administrative – 22 percent
Engineering – 17 percent
Marketing – 17 percent
Business Development – 17 percent
Accounting/Finance – 15 percent
Research/Development – 13 percent
Human Resources – 10 percent

In addition, nearly two in five (39 percent) small businesses with 250 or fewer employees reported that they are still struggling to recover from the last recession.  Like their larger counterparts, small businesses are also staying cautious as they assess market potential in the year ahead.

  • 50 or fewer employees – 19 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2014, the same as last year; 9 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 6 percent last year.
  • 250 or fewer employees – 22 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2014, down from 24 percent in 2013; 9 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 7 percent last year.
  • 500 or fewer employees – 23 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2014, down from 24 percent in 2013; 10 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 7 percent last year.

By region:

  • West – 26 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2014, down from 28 percent in 2013; 11 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 9 percent last year.
  • Northeast – 24 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2014, up slightly from 23 percent in 2013; 13 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 10 percent last year.
  • Midwest – 24 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2014, on par with 2013; 15 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 10 percent last year.
  • South – 22 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in 2014, down from 27 percent in 2013; 12 percent plan to reduce headcount, up from 9 percent last year.

Hiring for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) occupations is expected to take center stage with more than one in four employers (26 percent) planning to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months.

Looking at functions across an organization, the top two positions companies plan to hire for in the New Year – Sales and Information Technology – are also where employers expect to provide the biggest salary increases.

Workplace flexibility important to those with Rhode Island jobs

January 2nd, 2014

Workplace flexibility is a major influence on those who want Rhode Island jobs, according to a recent survey from

As such, companies are upping the ante and offering unique and non-traditional employee benefits.

Work schedule flexibility is the most desirable soft (non-financial) benefit by a wide margin for job seekers (50%+).

The next most popular benefit is personal time off/vacation carry-over. Less attractive options include: childcare availability, education reimbursement, and employee parties/social activities.

• 69% of respondents selected: flexible work schedule/work life balance

• 17% of respondents selected: personal time off/vacation carry over

• 8% of respondents selected: education reimbursement

• 4% of respondents selected: childcare availability

• 2% of respondents selected: employee parties/social activities

“Even the most dedicated employees value a healthy work/life balance,” said Mary Ellen Slayter, Career Advice Expert for “These findings show that flexibility and free time are more important than some of the other, often novel benefits. It’s important to understand the flexibility your company, or a prospective employer currently allows, and to explore options that could improve flexible work options. Additionally, some industries and job functions are better positioned to exploit this type of benefit than others. Every employee situation is different, but it appears most will appreciate this approach to their benefits package.”

State helps those who seek Rhode Island job assistance

December 15th, 2013

For those whose benefits are ending in December, the state is helping them by providing advice and Rhode Island job assistance.

The RI Department of Labor and Training confirms that extended unemployment insurance benefits, known as Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), are scheduled to end on December 28, 2013.

Since 2008, the EUC program has provided federally funded unemployment insurance benefits to claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits. In Rhode Island, the program currently offers four tiers of benefits totaling a maximum of 47 weeks of payments.

The department urges those job seekers no longer eligible for unemployment insurance benefits to utilize the free job search services of the state’s netWORKri one-stop career centers. These are located in Providence, Wakefield, West Warwick and Woonsocket, and offer a variety of self-service job search technologies as well as staff-assisted workshops and career advising.

Because the issue of extending the EUC program is currently being discussed by members of Congress, the RI Department of Labor and Training is advising current EUC recipients to continue to certify for payments after the program ends and into January. The department will keep these certifications on file, so that staff may begin to pay benefits quickly if the program is extended at the last minute. The EUC program was originally slated to end in December 2012, but was renewed by Congress at the year’s close.

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.

Finance jobs in Rhode Island remain steady

December 6th, 2013

A recent study released in the last few months from CareerBuilder points to evidence that finance jobs in Rhode Island are strong.

According to the survey, financial workers can expect a stable employment environment over the next six months along with an upswing in temporary jobs.

The study shows there will be a continued boost in temporary hiring activity as well as hiring for full-time and part-time positions:

· 52 percent of financial services employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, on par with last year

· 26 percent plan to hire part-time employees, up from 15 percent last year

· 31 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 20 percent last year

Financial services job creation continues in both big cities and outlying towns. Of financial services employers who are hiring in the second half of 2013, 84 percent said they will be hiring for positions in large metropolitan areas while 30 percent will be hiring in non-metropolitan, rural areas – similar to last year.

“Along with stable full time hiring, the financial services industry is seeing a solid increase over last year in projected hiring of part-time employees and temporary workers,” said Kevin Knapp, CFO of CareerBuilder, “Employers are moving forward carefully, expanding their ranks with temporary workers, while holding off on adding permanent staff until they can be sure of the economic recovery. Our data also shows that nearly 2 in 5 financial services employers plan to transition temporary workers to full time status in the coming quarter, reflecting the cautious optimism of the post-recession market.”

Rhode Island food service jobs increase

November 30th, 2013

According to recent labor statistics, food service jobs in Rhode Island increased by 800 last month.

Rhode Island jobs increased overall.

In October, the number of RI-based jobs reached 469,600, its highest level since December 2008. In September and October, RI-based jobs showed monthly increases of 1,100 and 800, respectively. Combined with the previously reported August gains of 1,600 jobs, the state experienced three consecutive months of employment gains totaling 3,500 jobs.

Accommodation & Food Services (+800) demonstrated the greatest job gains as employment levels outperformed seasonal expectations. This, coupled with consecutive months of smaller gains in the sector, brought the four-month total increase in Accommodation & Food Services to 1,700. In other positive job news, the Construction sector gained 300 jobs in September and 400 in October, bringing its three-month total increase to 1,000 jobs.

The Retail Trade (-800) and Financial Activities (-600) sectors each experienced notable declines in September. Building material retailers and miscellaneous retailers (i.e. office supply, gift shops, and stationary stores) reported job losses, while several subsectors in the Financial Activities sector experienced payroll declines. The greatest over-the-month job losses in October occurred in the Government sector (-300), with reported losses in local government and state government.

From October 2012 to October 2013, total nonfarm employment rose by 5,500, as job gains appeared in nine economic sectors including Professional & Business Services (+3,000), Construction (+800), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+800), Financial Activities (+500), Transportation & Utilities (+300), Accommodation & Food Services (+300), Retail Trade (+200), Health Care & Social Assistance (+200) and Manufacturing (+100).

Employment in four sectors—Government (-300), Information (-200), Other Services (-100) and Wholesale Trade (-100)—declined over the year. Employment in Educational Services and Mining & Logging remained unchanged.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for both September and October 2013 was 9.2 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the August 2013 rate.

Employees holding nonprofit jobs in Rhode Island get special training

November 18th, 2013

A group of employees with nonprofit jobs in Rhode Island are getting valuable information to help manage their personal finances.

General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo and the Capital Good Fund are coming together on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, to provide the employees of Family Resources Community Action and RiverzEdge Arts Project with this special information.

Employees will learn about about credit and debt management, and have the opportunity to sign-up for a free one-on-one session through the Rhode Island Financial Coaching Corps.

The goal of the Corps is to match volunteers with financial skills and know-how with people looking to learn how to make their money work for them.

Family Resources Community Action helps families and individuals achieve their potential through its programs, advocacy and collaborative initiatives.

RiverzEdge Arts Project is a social enterprise that provides talented underserved teens hands-on work experience in graphic design, digital photography, screen-printing and visual arts.

“Social change requires partnering with high-quality community-based organizations such as Family Resources Community Action and RiverzEdge Arts Project,” said Capital Good Fund Founder & Executive Director Andy Posner. “By expanding on our existing partnership and delivering financial coaching to these nonprofits, we can further empower them to serve residents of Woonsocket.”

“I am excited for the dedicated staff at Family Resources Community Action and RiverzEdge Arts Project to receive financial empowerment training,” Raimondo said. “Every day, these nonprofit colleagues give back to the community and help make Rhode Island stronger. Hopefully they will share their financial education with some of their clients, in essence creating a full circle of support.”

“Financial literacy skills are particularly important in today’s economic environment,” said Ben Lessing, Executive Director of Family Resources Community Action. “Human service and non-profit professionals are directly affected by fluctuating governmental and philanthropic financial support throughout their careers, which can have an impact on their finances. We are pleased to be working with Treasurer Raimondo to assure these valuable personnel have access to financial coaching and other resources so that they are able to manage their income wisely.”

Vacancies hurting Rhode Island healthcare jobs?

November 4th, 2013

As Rhode Island healthcare jobs go unfilled, the extended vacancy may have a bad impact on the entire organization.

According to a CareerBuilder study, forty-eight percent of nursing jobs and 39 percent of allied health jobs go unfilled for six weeks or longer, on average. Nursing jobs go unfilled for 12 weeks or longer at 20 percent of health care organizations.

A majority of employers cited at least one negative effect of vacancies (59 percent), with the top effects being:

· Employee morale is lower because staff is overworked – 36 percent

· Patients get less attention – 20 percent

· Higher voluntary turnover – 11 percent

· More mistakes in administration of patient care – 10 percent

· Increased lawsuits – 4 percent

Forty-one percent say extended vacancies have not negatively impacted their health care organization.

“The job market for health care positions continues to grow quickly in a sluggish economy, but filling key positions is far from easy. It takes proactive recruitment strategies focused on building pipelines and observing relevant workforce analytics,” said Jason Lovelace, president of CareerBuilder Healthcare. “Organizations are struggling to find a balance between bringing in new talent and hiring experienced industry veterans capable of stepping into stressful environments with little ramp-up time. It’s important, however, that health care leaders develop pathways for new graduates.”

A separate 2013 CareerBuilder Healthcare survey* of 503 employers asked hiring managers about their biggest barriers to filling a health care position. A lack of experience led the most common responses:

· Applicants do not have any relevant experience – 47 percent

· Applicants have salary requirements that are too high – 42 percent

· Applicants have less than 3 years relevant experience – 40 percent

· Applicants don’t have the proper education or training – 39 percent

· Applicants have poor communication skills – 38 percent

· Work schedule/hours are not desirable – 38 percent

Rhode Island construction jobs greater than expected

October 27th, 2013

The revised job numbers are out, and it appears Rhode Island construction jobs are higher in numbers than expected.

According to the state’s labor dept, second quarter tax data indicates that Rhode Island job growth continued to be greater than originally estimated, with 2,800 more jobs than first reported for June 2013.

The total number of Rhode Island-based jobs in June is 469,500.

Over the entire year,  Rhode Island gained 4,300 jobs, as compared to earlier estimates showing a job gain of only 1,500.

Rhode Island had gained 2,800 jobs from June 2011 to June 2012.

The sector with the most significant upward revision is Accommodation & Food Services, with 2,900 more Rhode Island-based jobs in June than originally estimated. Also, the Health Care & Social Assistance sector showed a significant upward revision, with 1,400 more RI-based jobs in June. Other sectors with notable upward revisions include Retail Trade (700), Construction (600) and Other Services (500).

The sector with the largest downward revision is Professional and Business Services (-900), due mainly to fewer administrative and waste-related jobs. Other sectors with notable downward revisions include Educational Services (-800) and Financial Activities (-800).

“This data underscores this importance of health care, retail trade and hospitality industries in our state,” said Director of the Department of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty. The Health Care & Social Services sector ranks number one among private sector employment in Rhode Island, followed by the Retail Trade sector and the Accommodation & Food Service sector, according to the department’s Labor Market Information Unit.

State loses middle wage Rhode Island jobs

October 20th, 2013

Middle wage jobs have been declining for a number of years, and it’s also reported that one state has lost middle wage Rhode Island jobs.

According to a study from Careerbuilder, Wyoming leads the nation in the percentage of middle-wage jobs added in a state post-recession. Forty-five percent of new jobs that were created in Wyoming since 2010 have been middle-wage, well ahead of other high-performing states: Iowa (37%), North Dakota (36%), and Michigan (35%). Texas (25%) and California (23%) have created the largest total number of new middle-wage jobs in the nation, but they’re in the middle of the pack in terms of the share of all new jobs.

At the bottom, Rhode Island is the only state that’s lost middle-wage jobs over the last few years. Meanwhile, Mississippi (10%) and New York (13%) have the lowest share of new middle-wage jobs among states that have seen job increases.

The study from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) shows that there are various fields and states where these positions are thriving.

CareerBuilder and EMSI defined middle-wage jobs as those that pay between $13.84 and $21.13 per hour.

One quarter (25 percent) of all new jobs added in the U.S. since 2010 fall in the middle-wage range, trailing the share of both high-wage jobs (29 percent) and low-wage jobs (46 percent). While automation, offshoring and other factors are driving the declining share of middle-wage jobs, a variety of occupations in this segment have performed well post-recession. Most of these occupations typically require on-the-job training, work experience, or short-term certificates and degrees that community colleges specialize in.

Customer Service Representatives – added 132,690 jobs since 2010, up 6%

Median hourly earnings - $14.91

· Heavy/Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – added 118,541 jobs since 2010, up 7%

Median hourly earnings - $18.41

· Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks – added 77,162 jobs since 2010, up 4%

Median hourly earnings - $17.02

· Construction Laborers – added 69,148 jobs since 2010, up 6%

Median hourly earnings - $14.60

· Machinists – added 49,906 jobs since 2010, up 14%

Median hourly earnings - $19.01

· Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers – added 38,153 jobs since 2010, up 11%

Median hourly earnings - $17.58

· Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics – added 36,229 jobs since 2010, up 5%

Median hourly earnings - $16.47

· Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers – added 34,424 jobs since 2010, up 8%

Median hourly earnings - $16.81

· Medical Assistants – added 29,949 jobs since 2010, up 5%

Median hourly earnings - $14.35

· Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators – added 21,307 jobs since 2010, up 17%

Median hourly earnings - $17.14

· Oil, Gas and Mining Service Unit Operators – added 16,690 jobs since 2010, up 38%

Median hourly earnings - $20.16

Retail giant filling seasonal jobs in Rhode Island

October 5th, 2013

Holiday hiring is upon us, and retail giant Macy’s is busy recruiting for seasonal jobs in Rhode Island, among other locales.

Most seasonal positions are part-time, often with flexibility to fit the availability of the individuals hired. Many positions require the applicant to work evenings, weekends or overnight. In some cases, temporary seasonal associates are offered open year-round positions based on their skills and performance over the holiday season.

Macy’s plans to hire seasonal associates for approximately 83,000 positions at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers nationwide for the 2013 holiday season. The company’s 2013 seasonal hiring plan compares to approximately 80,000 in 2012 (an increase of about 3.8 percent).

“Our goal is to be well-staffed to welcome and serve customers throughout the busy holiday season, whether they are shopping or buying in stores, online or via mobile devices. We first offer our current associates the opportunity to work extra hours over the holidays, then supplement our ongoing workforce with seasonal hires. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are favorite places to shop through the holidays, and our seasonal associates enjoy the energy and excitement of working for our company at this festive time of the year,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. chairman, president and chief executive officer. 

“These seasonal positions represent much-needed jobs for America, and they fill an important niche in the employment spectrum. Especially at the holidays, we employ students working during break to help pay tuition, retirees seeking to remain active and individuals from many walks of life wanting to supplement their income. We are proud to offer them this opportunity to work in a fun, fast-paced and respectful environment,” he said. 

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 2013, approximately 6,600 of the 83,000 total seasonal positions will be based in the four online fulfillment centers. In addition, approximately 1,200 seasonal positions will be assigned to work in the fulfillment areas of the 500 Macy’s stores that are equipped to fill and ship orders directly to customers.