Rhode Island-Based Jobs Rose by 1,500 from February; March Unemployment Rate Rose to 4.0 Percent

Published on Thursday, April 18, 2024

CRANSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island businesses added 1,500 jobs in March as the state’s unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent. Over the year, jobs were up 8,800 from March 2023, and the unemployment rate was up one and three-tenths percentage points.

Rhode Island’s Labor Force

The March unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the February rate of 3.9 percent. Last year, the rate was 2.7 percent in March.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in March, down one-tenth of a percentage point from February. The U.S. rate was 3.5 percent in March 2023.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 23,600, up 900 from February. The number of unemployed residents was up 7,900 over the year.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 559,900, up 2,000 over the month and up 3,700 over the year.

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 583,500 in March, up 2,900 over the month and up 11,600 from March 2023.

The labor force participation rate was 64.4 percent in March, up from 64.1 in February, and up from 63.5 in March 2023. Nationally, 62.7 percent of U.S. residents participated in the labor force.

Unemployment Insurance claims* for first-time filers averaged 1,217 in March, up from 1,056 in February. Claims were up an average of 70 a week from March 2023 filings.

Rhode Island-Based Jobs

The number of total nonfarm jobs in Rhode Island was 513,400 in March, an increase of 1,500 jobs from the revised February jobs figure of 511,900. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs are up 8,800 or 1.7 percent. Nationally, jobs were up 1.9 percent from a year ago. The number of private sector jobs in Rhode Island was up 1,400 in March and up 8,200 from March 2023.

March Nonfarm Payroll Notes…

  • The March job figure marks an all-time high in Rhode Island.
  • The reported loss of 200 jobs in February was revised down by 200, resulting in a loss of 400 jobs from January.
  • Rhode Island has added 4,300 jobs over the past three months, an average of 1,400 jobs per month.
  • The Administrative & Waste Services sector was the biggest gainer, adding 1,000 jobs in March.
  • The largest monthly job losses were reported in the Accommodation & Food Services and Finance & Insurance sectors, each shedding a modest 200 jobs from February.

Manufacturing Hours and Earnings

In March, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $26.12 per hour, up seven cents from February, and up two dollars from March 2023.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 41.6 hours per week in March, up nine-tenths of an hour over the month, and up two and eight-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 April 2024 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2024.