RI Unemployment Remains at 3.1% in February; 1900 jobs added

RHODE ISLAND’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.1% in February, unchanged from January, the RI Department of Labor and Training said Thursday. ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO / LYNNE SLADKY

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.1% in February, unchanged from last month, but the state added 1,900 jobs, the RI Department of Labor and Training said Thursday.

The DLT said the number of Rhode Islanders unemployed was 17,300 in February, down 300 from January. The total number is also 1,100 lower compared to the same month a year ago. Additionally, the number of employed residents was 548,800 as of February, unchanged from the previous month but down 2,700 from 2022, according to DLT.

Overall, the state’s labor force was 566,100 in February, down 300 from January and down 3,800 from February 2022, DLT said. According to the department, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in February 2022 was 3.2 percent.

The US unemployment rate was 3.6% in February, up two-tenths of a percentage point from January. Nationally, jobs grew by 2.9% from a year ago.

DLT noted that Rhode Island had regained 102,000, or 94.2%, of the 108,300 jobs lost during the COVID-19 shutdown through February.

The state’s total nonfarm payrolls were 501,000 in February, up 1,900 jobs from January and up 9,400 jobs from February 2022. These jobs exclude agriculture and some public, private, and nonprofit workers. The DLT said total nonfarm payrolls in February hit their highest level since March 2020.

The number of private sector jobs increased by 1,100 in February and was up 8,700 from February 2022.

Among the state’s nonfarm payrolls sectors, nine reported monthly job gains, while three reported monthly declines.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls in Rhode Island by sector in February.

  • Lodging and food services: 49,400, up 500 from January and up 400 for the year.
  • Administrative and waste services. 28,400, up 100 since January but down 700 year-on-year.
  • Arts, entertainment and entertainment: 8,600, unchanged from January and up 1,400 year-over-year.
  • Construction: 23,500, up 400 from January and up 2,600 year over year.
  • Educational services. 25,000, up 100 from January but down 500 year-on-year.
  • Finance and Insurance: 28,800, unchanged from January but up 600 year-over-year.
  • Government: 64,000, up 800 from January and 700 year-over-year.
  • Health and social support. 79,600, down 300 from January but still up 900 year-on-year.
  • Information: 5,900, up 200 from January and up 500 year-over-year.
  • Retail trade: 47,700, unchanged from January and up more than 400.
  • Production: 40,200, down 200 from January and down 300 for the year. Manufacturing workers in the sector earned $23.87 an hour in February, up 9 cents from January and up 66 cents from February 2022.

DLT said the January jobs report was revised up by 2,400 from a loss of 700 jobs to 1,700 jobs.

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