The Rhode Island economy appears to be starting to rebound, following the massive job loss that occurred in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The RI Department of Labor and Training reports that the state added 13,100 jobs from April to May. The state unemployment rate dropped from 18.1% to 16.3% during that period.
Rhode Island job losses still outpaced the national average, as the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 14.7 to 13.3 in May.
The RIDLT also reports:
- Over the year, jobs are down 79,900.
- In May, employment in Accommodation & Food Services grew by 7,000 after shedding 30,900 jobs in April and 3,300 in March. Restaurants and other eating places led the gains within this sector as outdoor dining was allowed to begin. The accommodations segment remained idle.
- Retail Trade added 3,000 jobs in May as non-critical retail was allowed to reopen with capacity limits. Positive gains were noted in department stores, motor vehicle and parts dealers and building material and garden supply stores.
- The Professional & Business Services sector added 2,200 jobs in May, propelled by the Administrative and Waste Services sector, mainly landscaping services.
- After reporting a loss of 13,800 jobs last month, the Health Care & Social Assistance sector brought back 1,200 jobs in May as elective procedures were allowed to resume with strict safety precautions. Offices of dentists and offices of physicians were the two leading industries in terms of job growth within this subsector.
- The Educational Services sector added 1,000 jobs in May after shedding 3,600 jobs last month.
- Job gains in May were also reported in the Financial Activities (+400), Manufacturing (+100) and Other Services (+100) sectors.
- A total of five employment sectors lost jobs in May, led by the Wholesale Trade sector which reported a loss of 700 jobs.
- Employment in the Transportation & Utilities sector fell by 600 from April as job losses were noted in the truck transportation and transit/ground passenger transportation subsectors.
- Government employment dropped by 400 in May, led by declines reported within local government.
- Also, in May, the Construction and Information sectors lost 100 jobs each, while the number of jobs in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation remained unchanged.