Governor Raimondo Touts Lowest Unemployment Rate Since May 2001


Rhode Island Adds 2,000+ Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 4.5 Percent, Labor Force Grows
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Gina M. Raimondo is pleased with the most recent jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report shows that Rhode Island added another 2,200 jobs in February–the first time since May 2015 the state added more than 2,000 jobs in a single month. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent and remains below the national average.

She released the following statement:

«Across Rhode Island, there are visible signs of our comeback. In the last year, thanks in part to our investments and the RhodeWorks project, thousands of construction workers have returned to work. Last month alone, we added 700 new construction jobs and for the first time since 2008, more than 20,000 people in our state were working in construction.

«In all, we’ve added over 12,000 jobs since I took office and cut our unemployment rate to 4.5 percent, the lowest it’s been since May 2001. Last month, Rhode Island employers created 2,200 new jobs and our labor force grew by 1,200.

«I will not rest until every Rhode Islander has an opportunity to compete for the jobs that businesses are creating. February’s jobs report is an encouraging sign that the investments we’ve made in education, job training, business development and infrastructure are paying off. But it’s also a sign that we need to continue to invest, and it’s why I’m working tirelessly to make college and job training more affordable and accessible for every Rhode Islander.»

Since Governor Raimondo took office, the state has added 12,300 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent in February–the lowest the state has recorded since May 2001 and 0.2 percentage points below the national average. In addition to the 2,200 jobs added in February, Rhode Island’s labor force grew by 1,200 compared to the month prior.

Construction led the way in job growth. The state added 700 construction jobs in February. Since February 2016, Rhode Island has created 2,200 construction jobs and construction employment topped 20,000 for the first time since 2008. Governor Raimondo’s Rebuild RI initiative has sparked a construction boom in Rhode Island and the state is months away from breaking ground on an anchor project in the long-vacant 195 land.

527,200 Rhode Islanders are working now, the highest level since May 2008 and the number of unemployed Rhode Islanders has declined another 1,200 to 25,000–the lowest level since May 2001.