April Unemployment Rate Decreases to 3.0 Percent; Rhode Island-Based Jobs Fell by 3,800 from March

Published on Thursday, May 18, 2023

CRANSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island businesses lost 3,800 jobs in April as the state’s unemployment rate decreased to 3.0 percent. Over the year jobs were down 800 from April 2022 and the unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point (+0.1). Through April, Rhode Island has recovered 96,600 or 89.2 percent of the 108,300 jobs lost during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Rhode Island's Labor Force

The April unemployment rate was 3.0 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the March rate of 3.1 percent. Last year the rate was 2.9 percent in April.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in April, down one-tenth of a percentage point from March. The U.S. rate was 3.6 percent in April 2022.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 16,900, down 500 from March. The number of unemployed residents increased by 100 over the year.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 549,800, up 1,000 over the month and down 5,200 over the year.

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 566,600 in April, up 400 over the month and down 5,200 from April 2022.

The labor force participation rate was 62.9 percent in April, unchanged from March, and down from 63.6 in April 2022. Nationally, 62.6 percent of US residents participated in the labor force.

Unemployment Insurance claims* for first-time filers averaged 1,119 in April down from 1,147 in March. Claims were up an average of 482 a week from April 2022 filings.

Rhode Island-Based Jobs

The number of Rhode Island total nonfarm jobs was 495,600 in April, a decrease of 3,800 jobs from the revised March jobs figure of 499,400. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs are down 800 or 0.2 percent. Nationally, jobs were up 2.6 percent from a year ago. The number of private sector jobs in Rhode Island fell by 3,400 in April and is down 2,400 from April 2022.

April Nonfarm Payroll Notes…

  • Total nonfarm jobs in Rhode Island declined for the second consecutive month recording a loss of 5,700 jobs since February 2023.
  • The March jobs report was revised down by 1,200, from a reported loss of 700 jobs from February to a loss of 1,900 jobs.
  • Eleven employment sectors reported monthly declines as the number of jobs typically added in April fell well short of expected gains.
  • The largest over-the-month losses were in the Administrative & Waste Services and Construction sectors with reported losses of 1,100 and 800, respectively.
  • The Manufacturing sector has reported four consecutive months of job declines totaling 1,000 jobs.
  • Government and Accommodation & Foods Services both reported over-the month losses of 400 due in part to the timing of the April school vacation period.
  • Jobs fell by 800 over the year, the first year-over- year job loss since March 2021.

Manufacturing Hours and Earnings

In April, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $24.47 per hour, up thirty-five cents from March, and up sixty-four cents from April 2022.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 38.5 hours per week in April, down three-tenths of an hour over the month, and down one-tenth of an hour from a year ago.

* The average number of verified initial claims filed during the week that includes the 12th of the month and the three weeks prior.

The Department of Labor and Training is scheduled to release the May 2023 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 15, 2023.