After a month of not being reported because of the government shutdown, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate moved up to 9.2% in October. According to the statistics published by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 634 fewer Rhode Islanders reported being employed than did the month before (1,881 fewer than the last report, of August data), and 657 fewer people reported that they’re either working or looking for work (1,462 fewer than August).
The total employment is now down below where it was in June 2012.
As can be seen in the first chart, below, Rhode Island’s labor force (now hovering at its summer 2002 level) is only 1,874 people higher than the number of people working just before the recession started. Rhode Island remains on track for the end of the year to have a total labor force that is lower than would be the case if all of the people who were unemployed in January 2007 completely dropped out of the labor force.
If the current employment existed with the same-sized labor force as at the beginning of the chart, the unemployment rate would be 13.2%.
The second chart shows that the Ocean State remains well behind Massachusetts and Connecticut. A comparison of this chart from month to month would show Rhode Island’s relative position worsening.