Secrets of the Job Hunt


Friday, January 02, 2009

Jobs in Rhode Island Decline

It’s no secret, the national recession has been particularly hard on jobs in Rhode Island. For months now, unemployment has been climbing as employers layoff more and more workers.

Although jobs continued to disappear in November, it was the first month in a quite a while that the jobless rate remained steady. According to Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training, the unemployment rate stayed at 9.3 percent for the second month in a row. Currently, the national average is 6.7 percent.

Since the jobless rate remained the same, Rhode Island managed to fair slightly better than Michigan. During October, the two states were tied for having the highest unemployment in the country.

Despite the fact that there no change in the percentage of the population without work, the decline in Rhode Island jobs continued for the 11th consecutive month. Between October and November employers cut approximately 4,000 jobs, which was the worst month-to-month decrease to happen in the state since April of 1991.

Interestingly enough, only 400 residents in the area filed for unemployment benefits. Many experts say this is because those who did lose their jobs were able to find work in Massachusetts or Connecticut, both of which are nearby and have significantly lower jobless rates.

In November area retailers usually bulk up their staffs in hopes of increased sales during the holiday season, but not this year. Instead, employers in this industry did away with approximately 1,400 jobs, according to the most recent statistics.

Another area of employment that lost jobs in Rhode Island was the manufacturing sector, which lost 500. This industry has been struggling for some time now. Altogether construction, business services and accommodation and food services did away with a total of 1,200 jobs. As of now, very few sectors are creating new opportunities.

To make matters worse, Governor Don Carcieri recently announced that he is considering decreasing the amount of state aid given to various cities and towns throughout Rhode Island. This would lead to a significant number of layoffs in the government sector, which would only drive unemployment up even higher.

Many experts say that the state’s jobless rate will get as high as 11 percent before the recession ends.

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