Rhode Island’s jobless rate ticked up in December to land at 9.1 percent, that’s up from 9 percent in November.
During the late summer and fall, Rhode Island’s persistently high unemployment rate had been gradually ticking down. But the seasonally adjusted rate for December reverses that course, inching up one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.1 percent.
Numbers out of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training show there are more people working than originally thought.
The DLT compared quarterly tax data from employers with numbers out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics that are estimates based on survey sampling. The tax data show Rhode Island gained 6,500 jobs between September of 2012 and September of 2013. That’s double the number based on federal estimates.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate edged down slightly in November but still remains among the highest in the country.
Rhode Island’s jobless rate fell by two tenths of one percent in November -- from 9.2 percent to 9 percent. That’s two percent higher than the national rate and the highest in New England. Close to 50-thousand Rhode Islanders are actively looking for work. And to make matters worse, long-term unemployment benefits end December 28th because of congressional inaction.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses is calling on the state Department of Labor and Training to postpone a hearing scheduled for Black Friday.
Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Retailers have to be behind their cash registers and waiting on customers. That’s why the National Federation of Independent Businesses is asking the state Department of Labor and Training to postpone a hearing scheduled for Friday. The hearing has to do with employers’ right to pay workers bi-weekly. Bill Vernon speaks for the NFIB in Rhode Island.
The latest employment numbers for Rhode Island are a mixed bag.
The state’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point in September then held in October at 9-point-2 percent. But Rhode Island has added 35-hundred jobs since July.
Sectors seeing the largest growth were Professional and Business Services and Accommodation and Food Services. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Director Charles Fogarty said construction has also seen a nice bump over the past few months.
Scores of workers who helped clean up after Superstorm Sandy were officially thanked Friday.
The Department of Labor and Training said it had $1.5 million in federal aid and hired about 98 workers to help clean up after the storm. They cleared debris from Fort Adams State Park, the East Bay bike path and worked around Misquamicut Beach to get it ready for the Memorial Day opening of the summer season.
Rhode Islanders will have to wait a little longer this month to find out what the September unemployment rate was. The state Department of Labor and Training says the data will not be released as scheduled on October 17th because of the partial government shutdown.
Department spokeswoman Laura Hart said the Census Bureau collects data that is used to calculate the state jobless rate.
Rhode Island’s jobless rate edged up slightly in July, from 8.8 percent to 8.9 percent. It’s a source of frustration for state Labor Department officials who concede that at the current rate it will take several years for Rhode Island to get anywhere close to full employment.
Led by a sharp drop in the number of temporary jobs, Rhode Island’s jobless rate posted a one-tenth of one percent increase in July. Still, the 8.9 percent rate is 1.6 percent lower than a year ago.
Starting next month, extended unemployment benefits will drop from 73 weeks to 63 weeks. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training said the cut comes thanks to lower unemployment numbers.
States with an average unemployment rate of 9 percent or higher can offer what’s called Tier 4 of federal unemployment benefits that lasts for ten weeks. But because Rhode Island’s June unemployment rate of 8.9 percent brought the state’s average down below the threshold, it can no longer offer those ten weeks of extra benefits.