CRANSTON, R.I. - The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in November, the Department of Labor and Training announced Thursday. The November rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point from the revised October rate of 5.3 percent. Last year the rate was 7.9 percent in November.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in November, down four-tenths of a percentage point from October. The U.S. rate was 6.7 percent in November 2020.
The number of unemployed Rhode Island residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment — was 28,300, down 1,200 from October. The number of unemployed residents decreased by 14,300 over the year. Since April 2020, the height of pandemic-related shutdowns, the number of unemployed RI residents is down 66,400.
The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 525,400, up 3,300 over the month and up 29,200 over the year. Since April 2020 the number of employed Rhode Island residents is up 74,400.
The Rhode Island labor force totaled 553,700 in November, up 2,100 over the month and up 14,900 from November 2020. The labor force is up 8,000 from April 2020.
Since February 2020, the month prior to the pandemic-related shutdowns, the number of unemployed RI residents is up 6,100 and the number of employed RI residents is down 14,400. Currently, there are 8,300 fewer RI residents participating in the labor force than there were prior to the start of the pandemic.
Rhode Island-Based Jobs
Total nonfarm payroll employment in Rhode Island totaled 482,100 in November, increasing 2,300 from the revised October figure of 479,800. The state economy rebounded this month from the October decline of 1,500 jobs, the first monthly decline since December 2020.
After reporting a loss of 500 jobs in October, employment in Professional & Business Services grew by 800 in November. The November job increase was mainly due to gains reported within the Professional & Technical Services subsector.
The number of jobs in the Other Services sector rose by 400 in November, marking three consecutive months of job gains totaling 800 jobs.
An increase of 300 jobs was reported in the Accommodation & Food Services, Construction and Transportation & Utilities sectors, while a gain of 200 jobs was noted in both the Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade sectors.
Lastly, the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Financial Activities, Government, and Information sectors each added 100 jobs in November.
Offsetting the November job gains was a loss of 400 jobs reported in the Retail Trade sector. November marks two consecutive months of job declines in Retail Trade which fell by 100 in October.
A loss of 100 jobs was reported in both the Educational Services and Health Care & Social Assistance sectors.
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 18,500, led by the Accommodation & Food Services (+5,200) sector. Manufacturing employment is up 2,900 jobs since November 2020, followed by the Government (+2,300), Health Care & Social Assistance (+2,200), Construction (+1,900), Wholesale Trade (+1,400), Other Services (+1,300) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+1,100) sectors.
Smaller annual job gains were noted in the Transportation & Utilities (+700), Retail Trade (+200), and Information (+100) sectors.
Employment in both the Educational Services and Professional & Business Services sectors is down 400 from a year ago, while the number of jobs in the Financial Activities and Mining & Logging sectors remained unchanged.
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 November 2021, the state's economy has recovered 82,900 or 77 percent of the jobs lost during the shutdown. Four employment sectors, Construction, Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities and Wholesale Trade have recovered all the jobs lost during the economic shutdown.
The Accommodation & Food Services sector has regained 80 percent of the jobs it lost during the restriction period, followed by the Retail Trade (79%), Other Services (75%), Health Care & Social Assistance (70%) and Professional & Business Services (66%) sectors. Both the Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Government sectors have recovered 58 percent of their lost jobs.
The Information sector has recovered 38 percent of the jobs it lost during the pandemic shutdown followed by the Financial Activities sector which has recovered 21 percent.
The Educational Services sector has yet to recover any of the 3,200 jobs it lost during the pandemic shutdown.
Manufacturing Hours and Earnings
In November, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $23.26 per hour, up thirty-eight cents from October, and up two dollars and five cents from November 2020.
Manufacturing employees worked an average of 39.2 hours per week in November, down six-tenths of an hour over the month, but up one hour and seven-tenths 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 December 2021 labor force figures and job counts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 20, 2022.