Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee joined Director Charles J. Fogarty, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, today to announce the most recent analysis of first quarter 2014 tax data. The data indicated that Rhode Island job growth was greater than originally estimated, with 1,800 more jobs than first reported in March 2014. The projected revisions brought the total number of Rhode Island-based jobs for March 2014 to 477,100.
"Job growth in Rhode Island continues to steadily move in the right direction, as evidenced by the 2014 first quarter tax data, which shows better than estimated positive movement," Governor Chafee said. "We are seeing this progress because of our investment and dedication to education, infrastructure and workforce development – the building blocks of a strong economy."
DLT Director Charles J. Fogarty said, "Our first quarter analysis shows a continued positive trend for Rhode Island's economy. Since the start of the year, the drop in the unemployment rate of 1.1 percentage points and the drop in the number of unemployed persons by 5,500 is Rhode Island's best on record since 1984. Our most encouraging finding is that 63 percent of the job gain since the end of the recession has been in mid-wage and high-wage industries. We still have a long way to go, but we are climbing back up."
In addition, the estimates derived from tax data showed that over the year, Rhode Island gained 7,700 jobs between March 2013 and March 2014. Earlier United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' estimates reported a job gain of 5,900.
The state's economy gained 21,200 jobs since the recession ended in August 2009. Of the jobs added, 15 percent were in high-wage industries; 48 percent were in mid-wage industries; and 38 percent were in low-wage industries. (Table of 2014 first quarter projected revisions and pie chart show job growth by wage class are attached.)
The Governor noted that based on the tax data review, upward revisions are projected for eight economic sectors with the largest revisions expected in health care and social assistance (more than 800) and retail trade (more than 500). Increased revisions of 200 are projected for manufacturing, information and wholesale trade, while accommodation and food services and other services are each expected to be revised up by 100.
However, decreases of 200 are projected for the professional and business services and construction sectors, as well as arts, entertainment and recreation are revised down by 100.
The Rhode Island of Department of Labor and Training's quarterly tax data is obtained from all of the state's 32,000 employers and considered to be more accurate than the survey-based data released earlier by DLT in conjunction with BLS. The BLS estimates are sample-based estimates generated from a monthly survey of some 1,700 Rhode Island businesses.