From The Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training

Rhode Island businesses added 1,900 jobs in November as the state’s unemployment rate rose to 2.9 percent. Over the year, jobs were down 1,000 from November 2022, and the unemployment rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point. Through November, Rhode Island has recovered 97,900 or 90.4 percent of the 108,300 jobs lost during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Rhode Island’s Labor Force

The November unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from the October rate of 2.7 percent. Last year, the rate was 3.3 percent in November.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in November, down two-tenths of a percentage point from October. The U.S. rate was 3.6 percent in November 2022.

The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 16,700, up 1,100 from October. The number of unemployed residents decreased by 1,900 over the year.

The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 557,500, up 300 over the month and up 9,600 over the year.

The Rhode Island labor force totaled 574,200 in November, up 1,300 over the month and up 7,700 from November 2022.

The labor force participation rate was 63.7 percent in November, up from 63.5 in October, and up from 62.9 in November 2022. Nationally, 62.8 percent of U.S. residents participated in the labor force.

Unemployment Insurance claims* for first-time filers averaged 813 in November, up from 639 in October. Claims were up an average of 191 a week from November 2022 filings.

Rhode Island-Based Jobs

The number of Rhode Island total nonfarm jobs was 496,900 in November, an increase of 1,900 jobs from the October jobs figure of 495,000. Over the year, total nonfarm jobs are down 1,000 or 0.2 percent. Nationally, jobs were up 1.8 percent from a year ago. The number of private sector jobs in Rhode Island rose by 2,200 in November and is down 1,700 from November 2022.

September Nonfarm Payroll Notes…

The October employment figure of 495,000 remained unchanged, keeping the number of jobs lost from September at 700.

  • The gain of 1,900 jobs in November was the largest monthly gain since February (+2,200).
  • Since August, the Rhode Island economy has added 2,700 jobs, an average of 900 jobs per month.
  • The Health Care & Social Assistance sector added 800 jobs in November, recouping all the 800 jobs lost in October.
  • A total of nine employment sectors added jobs in November, three sectors lost employment, while six sectors remained unchanged.
  • The Professional & Technical Services sector reported the largest job loss in November, shedding 400 jobs from October.




Manufacturing Hours and Earnings

In November, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $25.55 per hour, down fourteen cents from October, and up one dollar and fifty-one cents from November 2022.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.3 hours per week in November, up six-tenths of an hour over the month, but down six-tenths of an hour 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 December 2023 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 18, 2024.

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