Unemployment Rate Drops to 10.8 Percent
Friday, August 17, 2012
Rhode Island has the fewest number of jobs based in the state since April 1998, according to the July employment figures released today by the Department of Labor and Training.
The state’s unemployment rate for the month dropped to 10.8 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from last month. It was the third consecutive month that the unemployment rate dropped for the state, which now has its lowest jobless rate in the state since May 2009.
In Rhode Island, the estimated nonfarm payroll totaled 455,900 in July, which reflects a loss of 1,200 jobs from June. The July employment figure marks the lowest employment figure since April 1998, which totaled 455,300.
State- based jobs decreased by 1,200 over the month. The greatest job loss over the month was reported in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector, with a loss of 900 jobs. Significant losses were also reported in the Professional & Technical Services and Educational Services sectors, with approximately 500 jobs lost in each sector.
The Accommodation & Food Services and Construction sectors each added 600 jobs over the month. Local hotels, motels, and drinking venues also added employment. Job gains were also reported in residential building construction, commercial construction and specialty trade construction. Smaller employment gains were noted in the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Financial Activities sectors.
The latest jobs report comes a day after the state DLT announced that additional federal funding saved the jobs of seven of the 51 unemployment insurance call center employees who were laid off at the end of July.
The federal funding to rehire the workers came from the UI Modernization Fund. Those funds were supposed to be restricted to technological uses, but after extensive negotiations with the U.S. Department of Labor, Rhode Island has been given approval to redirect approximately $500,000 of that award toward staffing expenses.
"Governor Chafee places a high value on customer service and had asked the department to investigate any and all funding options to bolster staffing at the call center,” said DLT director Charles Fogarty. “
The seven employees were called back on a seniority basis and will begin work again on Monday, August 20.