Rhode Island-Based Jobs Rose 1,100 from October; November Unemployment Rate Increases to 3.6 Percent

Published on Thursday, December 15, 2022

CRANSTON, R.I. — The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in November, the Department of Labor and Training announced Thursday. The November rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point from the October rate of 3.4 percent. Last year, the rate was 4.7 percent in November.          

The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in November, unchanged from October. The U.S. rate was 4.2 percent in November 2021.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 20,600, up 1,100 from October. The number of unemployed residents decreased by 6,100 over the year. Since April 2020, the height of pandemic-related shutdowns, the number of unemployed RI residents is down 79,700.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 556,100, down 2,000 over the month and up 12,500 over the year. Since April 2020, the number of employed Rhode Island residents is up 110,000.

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 576,700 in November, down 900 over the month and up 6,400 from November 2021. The labor force is up 30,300 from April 2020. 

Since February 2020, the month prior to the pandemic-related shutdowns, the number of unemployed RI residents is down 400 and the number of employed RI residents is up 5,300. Currently, there are 4,900 more RI residents participating in the labor force than there were prior to the start of the pandemic. The labor force, employment and unemployment estimates have reached points surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Rhode Island-Based Jobs

Total nonfarm employment in Rhode Island rose to 498,100 in November, an increase of 1,100 jobs from the revised October figure of 497,000. From January 2022 through November 2022, the RI economy has added 10,100 jobs, an average gain of 900 jobs per month.

The Construction sector added 800 jobs in November, led by gains reported in specialty trade contractors.

Three sectors, Health Care & Social Assistance, Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade, each added 400 jobs in November.

The number of jobs in Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector rose by 300 in November, followed by a gain of 200 jobs in both the Financial Activities and Government sectors. 

Lastly, an increase of 100 jobs was noted in both the Administrative & Waste Services and Information sectors, while the number of jobs in the Management of Companies, Mining & Logging and Transportation & Utilities sectors remained unchanged.

A large and atypical decrease of 1,100 jobs was reported in the Professional & Technical Services sector. This marks the first monthly decrease within the sector since August.

Jobs in the Accommodation & Food Services sector fell by 300 in November, marking three consecutive months of declines totaling 2,400 jobs.

Smaller monthly job losses were reported in the Retail Trade (-200), Educational Services (-100) and Other Services (-100) sectors.

Due to the unprecedented pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions implemented in April 2020, the number of jobs in Rhode Island plunged to 399,700. Gradually, restrictions began to ease, and the economy began an upward recovery trend. Over the year, Rhode Island jobs are up 12,100, led by the Health Care & Social Assistance (+3,600), Construction (+2,700) and Government (+1,000) sectors.

Sizeable annual job gains were also noted in Educational Services (+900), Manufacturing (+800) and Wholesale Trade (+800).

Lastly, annual job gains were reported in the Financial Activities (+500), Professional & Technical Services (+500), Other Services (+400), Accommodation & Food Services (+300), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+300), Transportation & Utilities (+300), Information (+200) and Administrative & Waste Services (+100) sectors.

Between November 2021 and November 2022, the number of jobs remained unchanged in the Retail Trade and Mining & Logging sectors.

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many industries in the state were ordered to close or operate with restrictions in March and April of 2020, resulting in the loss of 108,100 jobs. Through November 2022, the state’s economy has recovered 98,400 or 91.0 percent of the jobs lost during the shutdown. Seven employment sectors, Construction, Finance & Insurance, Information, Manufacturing, Professional & Technical Services, Transportation & Utilities and Wholesale Trade have reported more jobs in November 2022 than they had in the month prior to the pandemic shutdown.

The Administrative & Waste Services sector has recovered 89 percent of the jobs lost during the restriction period, followed by the Other Services (88%), Accommodation & Food Services (87%), Health Care & Social Assistance (87%), Retail Trade (80%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (71%), Government (58%) and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing (57%).

The Educational Services (8%) sector has recovered a fraction of the jobs lost during the shutdown, while the number of jobs in the Management of Companies sector remains below its pre-pandemic level.

Manufacturing Hours and Earnings

In November, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $24.46 per hour, up four cents from October, and up one dollar and seven cents from November 2021.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 40.1 hours per week in November, up one-tenth of an hour over the month, and up nine-tenths of an hour from a year ago.

The Department of Labor and Training is scheduled to release the December 2022 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 19, 2023.