Rhode Island-Based Jobs Rose by 1,000 from March; April Unemployment Rate Remained at 4.1 Percent

Published on Thursday, May 16, 2024

CRANSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island businesses added 1,000 jobs in April as the state’s unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent. Over the year, jobs were up 12,800 from April 2023, and the unemployment rate was up one and four-tenths percentage points. 

Rhode Island’s Labor Force

The April unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged from the revised March rate of 4.1 percent. Last year, the rate was 2.7 percent in April.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in April, up one-tenth of a percentage point from March. The U.S. rate was 3.4 percent in April 2023.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 24,300, up 700 from March. The number of unemployed residents was up 9,100 over the year.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 561,900, up 2,000 over the month and up 4,700 over the year.

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 586,200 in April, up 2,700 over the month and up 13,800 from April 2023.

The labor force participation rate was 64.7 percent in April, up from 64.4 in March, and up from 63.5 in April 2023. Nationally, 62.7 percent of U.S. residents participated in the labor force.

Unemployment Insurance claims* for first-time filers averaged 730 in April, down from 1,217 in March. Claims were down an average of 389 a week from April 2023 filings due to the April school vacation period being a week later in 2024 than it was in 2023.

Rhode Island-Based Jobs

The number of total nonfarm jobs in Rhode Island was 513,600 in April, an increase of 1,000 jobs from the revised March jobs figure of 512,600. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs are up 12,800 or 2.6 percent. Nationally, jobs were up 1.8 percent or 2.8 million from a year ago. The number of private sector jobs in Rhode Island was up 700 in April and up 11,000 from April 2023.

April Nonfarm Payroll Notes…

  • The April job figure marks an all-time high in Rhode Island.
  • The reported gain of 1,500 jobs in March was revised down by 800, resulting in a gain of 700 jobs from February.
  • Rhode Island has added 1,300 jobs over the past three months, an average of 400 jobs per month.
  • The Health Care & Social Assistance sector continues to thrive, adding 500 jobs in April. The last monthly job decline was reported in October of 2023.
  • The number of jobs in the Transportation & Utilities sector fell by 400 in April, the largest monthly decline reported among the eighteen employment sectors.
  • Job gains were reported in nine sectors, while falling in five sectors and remaining unchanged in four sectors.

Manufacturing Hours and Earnings

In April, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $26.17 per hour, down thirteen cents from March, but up one dollar and sixty-six cents from April 2023.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 41.3 hours per week in April, down seven-tenths of an hour over the month, but up two and seven-tenths hours 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 2024 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2024.