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Unemployment rate in Rhode Island holds steady

Posted on January 7, 2019

Labor statistics posit that the unemployment rate in Rhode Island has remained unchanged.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment ratefor November 2018 was 3.8 percent, unchanged from the October rate. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down seven-tenths of a percentage point from the November 2017 rate of 4.5 percent.

The number of Rhode Island-based jobs totaled 502,700, a decrease of 900 jobs from the revised October job count of 503,600. Despite the November decline, Rhode Island has added 600 jobs over the past three months and has 5,100 more nonfarm jobs than a year ago.

The Construction sector reported a loss of 700 jobs in November, stemming from losses reported among specialty trade contractors. The number of Construction jobs remained unchanged from November 2017.

Employment in both the Other Services and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sectors fell by 600 in November. The Other Services sector relinquished all the 600 jobs it added in October, but still has 1,000 more jobs than reported in November 2017. The Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector has lost jobs for four consecutive months, totaling 1,200 jobs and is down 600 jobs from a year ago.

Smaller jobs losses from October were noted in the Accommodation & Food Services (-300), Manufacturing (-200) and Educational Services (-100) sectors. Over the year, the number of jobs in the Accommodation & Food Services (+1,100), and Educational Services (+500) are up, while Manufacturing employment remained even.

Several sectors did add jobs in November, led by the Professional & Business Services and Retail Trade sectors, each adding 400 jobs. The Retail Trade sector has not reported a job loss since July and has added 1,500 jobs over the last four months. Employment in both sectors is up 1,300 from a year ago.

Employment in Health Care & Social Assistance is up by 300 from October and is up 700 from November 2017.

The Financial Activities and Wholesale Trade sectors each added 200 jobs in November. The number of jobs in Financial Activities is up 400 over the year, while jobs in Wholesale Trade are down 200 over the year.

Lastly, Government employment rose by 100 from October as jobs gains were reported within the federal government branch. Government employment is down 200 from a year ago.

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