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Rhode Island unemployment remains high

Posted on August 6, 2012

Rhode Island unemployment remains high – the third highest in the nation, in fact.

The latest labor statistics show that really nothing has changed in terms of jobs within the state.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +77,000 to +87,000, and the change for June was revised from +80,000 to +64,000.

Total employment rose by 163,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent. Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.

The industries that saw the most growth were professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 49,000 in July. Computer systems design added 7,000 jobs, and employment in temporary help services continued to trend up (+14,000). Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 29,000 over the month and by 292,000 over the past 12 months. In other industries, manufacturing employment rose in July (+25,000), with nearly all of the increase in durable goods manufacturing. Within durable goods, the motor vehicles and parts industry had fewer seasonal layoffs than is typical for July, contributing to a seasonally adjusted employment increase of 13,000.

Employment continued to trend up in health care in July (+12,000), with over-the-month gains in outpatient care centers (+4,000) and in hospitals (+5,000). Employment also continued to trend up in wholesale trade.

The number if jobs was also up in fabricated metal products (+5,000).

In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.2 million. These individuals accounted for 40.7 percent of the
unemployed. Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little in July.

But the BLS said that the number of unemployed persons (12.8 million) and the unemployment rate (8.3 percent) were essentially unchanged in July.

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