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Quarterly Data Shows More Rhode Island-Based Jobs, Improved Economic Picture for First Quarter of 2012

7,000 more RI-based jobs for March 2012 than originally estimated

Accommodation and Food Services, Professional and Business Services, and Construction estimates each up more than 1,000 jobs

Providence, RI - A recent analysis of tax data shows that Rhode Island job growth exceeded original estimates for the first quarter of 2012, according to the RI Department of Labor and Training.

The new estimate for Rhode Island-based jobs as of March 2012 is 464,700 jobs, up 7,000 from earlier numbers reported in April. The earlier estimate indicated that Rhode Island-based jobs had dropped over a year's time by 2,200. However, the new estimate shows that Rhode Island-based jobs had likely increased by 4,800 from March 2011 to March 2012.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee says, "It's heartening to have hard data that confirms what we've been hearing from individual employers: that the economic recovery in Rhode Island may be more steady than we had originally thought."

First quarter tax data also shows significant increases in job counts in the following industry sectors:

Accommodation and Food Servicesórevised to 43,800 jobs, up 2,400 jobs from earlier estimates. Professional and Business Servicesórevised to 55,900 jobs, up 1,700 from earlier estimates. Constructionórevised to 16,800 jobs, up 1,600 from earlier estimates.

Tax data also shows moderate decreases in job counts for the following sectors:

Manufacturingórevised to 40,000 jobs, down 900 from earlier estimates. Educational Services (private sector only)órevised to 25,200 jobs, down 700 from earlier estimates.

Monthly estimates are based upon a survey sample of 1,600 Rhode Island employers. The quarterly estimates are based on data from approximately 32,000 employers, and therefore have a smaller margin of error. According to the Department of Labor and Training, the monthly survey is

Projected Revision in March 2012 Job Numbers

In thousands

A - Survey-based estimates, calculated in April 2012

B - Tax data-based estimates, calculated in July 2012

C - Projected revision

Total Jobs

A - 457.7_____ B - 464.7_____ C - 7.0

Mining and Logging

A - 0.2_____ B - 0.2_____ C - 0.0

Construction

A - 15.2_____ B - 16.8_____ C - 1.6

Manufacturing

A - 40.9_____ B - 40.0_____ C - (0.9)

Retail Trade

A - 45.7_____ B - 46.8_____ C - 1.1

Wholesale Trade

A - 16.5_____ B - 16.7_____ C - 0.2

Transportation and Utilities

A - 10.8_____ B - 10.8_____ C - 0.0

Information

A - 10.5_____ B - 9.9_____ C - (0.6)

Financial Activities

A - 30.5_____ B - 30.4_____ C - (0.1)

Professional and Business Services

A - 54.2_____ B - 55.9_____ C - 1.7

Educational Services

A - 25.9_____ B - 25.2_____ C - (0.7)

Health Care and Social Assistance

A - 77.5_____ B - 78.7_____ C - 1.2

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

A - 7.3_____ B - 7.7_____ C - 0.4

Accommodation and Food

A - 41.4_____ B - 43.8_____ C - 2.4

Other Services

A - 21.3_____ B - 22.1_____ C - 0.8

Total Government

A - 59.8_____ B - 59.6_____ C - (0.2)

Source: RI Department of Labor and Training, Labor Market Information Unit, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and Current Employment Statistics (CES) data, Using methodology developed by the University of Massachusetts.

The revised data also shows a change in over-the-year trends for a number of industry sectors. The industry sectors of Construction; Retail Trade; Health Care and Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment and Recreation; and Accommodation and Food Services all originally reported over-the-year losses, according to March 2012 survey data reported in April. However, first quarter tax data shows that each of these sectors likely grew jobs from March 2011 to March 2012.

Conversely, the Information and Manufacturing sectors, which had originally posted job growth from March 2011 to March 2012, now registered over-the-year losses.

Over-the-Year Comparison of RI-Based Jobs, Using New Estimates for March 2012

In thousands

A - March 2011*

B - Revised March 2012 Estimates

C - Change

Total Jobs

A - 459.9_____ B - 464.7_____C - 4.8

Mining and Logging

A - 0.1_____B - 0.2_____ C - 0.1

Construction

A - 15.6_____ B - 16.8_____ C - 1.2

Manufacturing

A - 40.7_____ B - 40.0_____ C - (0.7)

Retail Trade

A - 46.4_____ B - 46.8_____ C - 0.4

Wholesale Trade

A - 16.1_____ B - 16.7_____ C - 0.6

Transportation and Utilities

A - 10.7_____ B - 10.8_____ C - 0.1

Information

A - 10.0_____ B - 9.9_____ C - (0.1)

Financial Activities

A - 30.7_____ B - 30.4_____ C - (0.3)

Professional and Business Services

A - 54.1_____ B - 55.9_____ C - 1.8

Educational Services

A - 24.8_____ B - 25.2_____ C - 0.4

Health Care and Social Assistance

A - 78.2_____ B - 78.7_____ C - 0.5

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

A - 7.6_____ B - 7.7_____ C - 0.1

Accommodation and Food

A - 42.0_____ B - 43.8_____ C - 1.8

Other Services

A - 22.1_____ B - 22.1_____ C - 0.0

Total Government

A - 60.8_____ B - 59.6_____ C - (1.2)

*March 2011 data was originally calculated from a survey sample, and then was revised using tax data during the state's annual revision process of employment estimates.

Once a year, all states use four quarters of tax data to revise one year's worth of survey-based employment estimates. These revisions are usually released in late February/early March of the following year. However, the RI Department of Labor and Training has chosen to release its own revisions on a quarterly basis, to better track the progress of the economic recovery.

While the monthly survey-based estimates may not be as accurate as the quarterly tax data, they still service an important purpose. "Quarterly data is not available in as timely a manner as survey data," says Director of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty. "Monthly data is still valuable, because it allows the state to monitor employment patterns in real time." Fogarty adds that all states use uniform methods to calculate the monthly employment estimates, under the supervision of the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Governor

Online: http://www.governor.ri.gov

Release date: 08-01-2012

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