Rhode Island-Based Jobs Rose by 1,700 from May; June Unemployment Rate Decreases to 5.9 Percent

Published on Thursday, July 15, 2021

CRANSTON, R.I. - The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in June, the Department of Labor and Training announced Thursday. The June rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised May rate of 6.0 percent. Last year the rate was 10.9 percent in June.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in June, up one-tenth of a percentage point from May. The U.S. rate was 11.1 percent in June 2020.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 31,900, down 700 from May. The number of unemployed residents decreased by 23,900 over the year.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 506,600, down 500 from May. Last June there were 457,200 employed Rhode Island residents.

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 538,500 in June, down 1,200 from May but up 25,500 from June 2020 (513,000).

Since February 2020, the month prior to the pandemic-related shutdowns, the number of unemployed RI residents is up 9,700 and the number of employed RI residents is down 33,200. Currently, there are 23,500 fewer RI residents participating in the labor force than there were prior to the start of the pandemic.

Rhode Island-Based Jobs

Rhode Island-based nonfarm jobs rose to 471,000 in June, an increase of 1,700 jobs from the revised May job count of 469,300. Through the first half of 2021, the Rhode Island economy has added 13,200 jobs, or an average of 2,200 jobs per month. The state's last monthly job declined was reported in December 2020.

The Arts, Entertainment & Recreation sector added 1,400 jobs in June, fueled by job gains reported among golf courses and marinas and through the easing of restrictions for fitness centers.

Retail Trade added 600 jobs in June, rebounding from two consecutive months of job declines. Job gains were noted among grocery stores, department stores and building material and garden supply stores.

Health Care & Social Assistance and Government added 500 and 400 jobs, respectively, in June. Social assistance services sparked the gain within Health Care & Social Assistance, while the local branch of government provided the boost in the public services sector.

Construction and Transportation & Utilities each added 300 jobs in June, followed by smaller gains reported in the Educational Services (+200), Financial Activities (+100) and Manufacturing (+100) sectors.

The monthly job count in the Wholesale Trade, Information and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged from May.

Offsetting the June job gains was a loss of 1,500 jobs reported in the Professional & Business Services sector. Several industries within Administrative & Waste Services reported payroll declines from May.

The Accommodation & Food Services sector shed 400 jobs in June, its first monthly job decline since December 2020. The Other Services sector shed 300 jobs since May.

Due to the unprecedented pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions implemented in April 2020, the number of jobs in Rhode Island plunged to 399,200. Gradually, restrictions started to ease, and the economy began a slow upward trend. Over the year, Rhode Island jobs are up 35,000, led by the Accommodation & Food Services (+10,300) sector. Health Care & Social Assistance is up 5,400 jobs since June 2020, followed by the Retail Trade (+4,000), Construction (+3,300), Manufacturing (+3,000), Other Services (+2,700) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+2,300) sectors.

Smaller annual job gains were noted in the Transportation & Utilities (+1,600), Professional & Business Services (+1,200), Wholesale Trade (+1,000), Financial Activities (+700) and Information (+100) sectors.

Government and Educational Services were the lone sectors to report an over-the-year job decrease with each sector being down 300 jobs from June 2020.

To help prevent the outbreak 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 108,000 jobs. Through June 2021, the state's economy has recovered 71,800 or 67 percent of the jobs lost during the shutdown. The Construction sector has recovered all the 4,200 jobs it lost during the pandemic shutdown. Large job recovery gains were also noted in the Manufacturing (92%), Wholesale Trade (86%) and Retail Trade (82%) sectors.

Other employment sectors which have recovered at least half of the jobs lost during the pandemic restrictions include Transportation & Utilities, recovering 75 percent of the jobs lost, followed by the Accommodation & Food Services (68%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (67%), Health Care & Social Assistance (67%), Other Services (66%) and Professional & Business Services (51%) sectors.

The Financial Activities and Educational Services sectors have recovered 42 percent and 9 percent of the jobs they lost during the pandemic shutdown, respectively. The numbers of jobs in the Information sector is unchanged from its April 2020 level, while the Government sector is still below its pandemic-level low points.

Manufacturing Hours and Earnings

In June, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $21.01 per hour, up five cents from May, and up two dollars and six cents from June 2020.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 40.4 hours per week in June, up five-tenths of an hour over the month, and up one and a half hours from a year ago.

About DLT: The Department of Labor and Training (DLT) offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunities to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island's workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information, please call the Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the website at www.dlt.ri.gov.

The Department of Labor and Training is scheduled to release the July 2021 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 19, 2021.