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.
Making ends meet is about to get harder for thousands of Rhode Island families who will lose their unemployment benefits Saturday. Those taking the hit are the long-term unemployed.
Congressional failure to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will result in the loss of benefits to 1.3 million Americans starting tomorrow. In Rhode Island, six thousand long-term unemployed individuals will lose their weekly checks. In the first six months of 2014 another nine thousand will join their ranks.
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.