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September Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.4 Percent; Rhode Island-Based Jobs Down 1,800 from August

RHODE ISLAND – The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2015 dropped to 5.4 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the revised August 2015 rate of 5.7 percent. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and eight-tenths percentage points from the September 2014 rate. This is the lowest unemployment rate since August 2007.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in September 2015, unchanged from the previous month and down eighttenths of a percentage point over the year. The number of unemployed RI residents—those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment— was 30,400, down 1,300 from the August figure of 31,700. This represents the lowest unemployment level since July 2007. Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 9,400.

A total of 7,698 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in September 2015, * down from 9,081 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 29.3 percent of the total unemployed. The number of employed RI residents was 527,800, down 500 from the August figure of 528,300. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 15,500 from September 2014.

The RI labor force totaled 558,200 in September 2015, down 1,800 from August 2015 and up 6,100 from September 2014.

JOBS BASED IN RHODE ISLAND: Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 482,100 in September, reflecting a loss of 1,800 jobs from the revised August estimate of 483,900. Over the past three months, Rhode Island has averaged a loss of 300 jobs, but has added 3,000 jobs over the year. Since the start of the year, jobs are up 2,800. Thus far in 2015, job growth has averaged 300 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 600 jobs during the same period in 2014.

Employment in the Professional & Business Services sector fell by 1,200 in September, marking two consecutive months of declines totaling 1,500 jobs. Despite this significant job loss, employment in Professional & Business is up 2,900 in 2015 and up 2,100 from a year ago.

Jobs in Health Care & Social Assistance continued to trend down as 700 jobs were wiped from the September payroll. Jobs within this sector are down 1,000 in 2015, down 1,200 over the year and the sector has averaged a loss of 500 over the past three months. Financial Activities reported a loss of 500 jobs in September, following a loss of 100 jobs in August, erasing the gain of 600 jobs reported earlier in July.

Sept 15        Aug 15        Sept 14
RI Unemployment Rate               5.4%            5.7%           7.2%
U.S. Unemployment Rate            5.1%            5.1%            5.9%
RI Job Count (in thousands)      482.1          483.9           479.1

 The RI unemployment rate declined to 5.4%, its
lowest level since August 2007.
 The number of RI-based jobs is down 1,800 from
August but up 3,000 from a year ago.
 The number of employed RI residents decreased by
500 over the month.
 There were 7,698 individuals collecting
Unemployment Insurance benefits in September.

Monthly Employment September 2015,
Government employment dropped by 300 over the month and is down by 500 over the year. Another loss of 300 jobs was also reported in Wholesale Trade, marking the sector’s first job loss since April of this year.

Construction employment fell again, shedding 200 jobs from August. This sector has experienced four consecutive months without reporting a job gain, the last one being in May in which 100 jobs were added. Between September 2014 and September 2015, Construction jobs are down 1,800.

The Manufacturing, Retail Trade, Transportation & Utilities and Educational Services sectors each reported an over the-month loss of 100 jobs, while employment in Information, Other Services and Mining & Logging remained unchanged.

Accommodation & Food Services and Arts, Entertainment& Recreation were the only sectors to report over-the month job gains adding 1,600 and 200 jobs, respectively. Employment in Accommodation & Food Services is up 1,700 since the start of the year and up 2,300 from a year ago. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation employment is up 100 over the year.
MANUFACTURING: In September 2015, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $17.26 per hour, down 19 cents from August 2015 and down 60 cents from September 2014. Manufacturing production employees worked an average of 39.5 hours per week in September, up one hour from August but down half an hour over the year.

METHODOLOGY: The unemployment figures are based largely on a survey of households in Rhode Island and measure the unemployment status of people who live in the state. Unemployment rates prior to 1976 are not recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as official since the methodology used at that time is not comparable to today’s methods. The establishment of employment figures is derived from a survey of businesses in Rhode Island and measure the number of jobs in the state. Rhode Island labor market information is available at Additional information on procedures for producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates is available on the BLS web site at BLS will be releasing all states’ September labor force data and job counts on October 20, 2015. DLT is scheduled to release the October 2015 labor force figures and job counts on Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 2:00 p.m.

ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunities to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at


*Refers to the number of new and reopened claims filed by UI beneficiaries and claims filed by those already collecting UI in the week that includes the 12th of the


DLT Continues Crackdown on Workplace Fraud

CRANSTON, RI — RI Department of Labor and Training Director Scott Jensen today announced another company is facing penalties for underpaying wages on a public project, fraudulently filling out weekly payroll records and wrongly misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

The DLT reached a decision against Mancieri Flooring Co. LLC on September 24. DLT ordered the company to pay $331,000 in civil penalties, interest and back wages and debarred it from doing work on any prevailing wage jobs in Rhode Island for three years. (See attached document.) On Sept. 1, Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced DLT’s $730,000 settlement agreement with Pawtucket-based Cardoso Construction LLC.

“Ensuring that workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work is one of the ways we will help everyone make it in Rhode Island,” Governor Raimondo said. “Breaking the law not only hurts workers, it also hurts all of the Rhode Island companies that follow the rules, pay proper wages and help grow our economy.”

“Governor Raimondo has made workplace fraud enforcement one of our top priorities,” said Jensen. “We have strengthened our team that works on misclassification violations and continue to increase the effectiveness of our new Workplace Fraud Unit to bring more employers into compliance and protect workers.”

After an investigation by DLT’s Prevailing Wage Unit and a June 29 administrative hearing for which Kevin Mancieri failed to appear, DLT found that Mancieri Flooring (663 Warren Ave., East Providence, 02914):

·         Failed to pay the prevailing wage rate on flooring removal and installation work it was subcontracted to do at the University of Rhode Island from 2012 to 2014;

·         Failed to pay 17 employees the proper wage and overtime rates, paying an hourly wage of $12.50 to $25 — much lower than the applicable prevailing wage rate and/or the various hourly rates that Mancieri Flooring falsely reported on its certified payroll records;

·         Misclassified its 17 workers as independent contractors;

·         Continued a pattern of deceit in falsifying payroll records spotted earlier by the US Department of Labor in a separate federal prevailing wage project; and

·         Supplied false 1099 tax forms to the state for employees to try to hide that it was not paying the proper prevailing wages.


The company must pay $70,000 in back wages, a $210,000 civil penalty (three times the amount of wages due) and a $51,000 misclassification penalty ($3,000 times 17 employees).


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