By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News
The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training had good news Thursday, when they announced that unemployment fell in December to 9.9 percent according to revised figures.
The DLT found that, using tax records from all Rhode Island employers from July 2011 to September 2012 to make revised estimated, the unemployment rate for December 2012 was 9.9 percent, not the previously reported 10.2 percent.
With the new estimates, December marks the first time since February of 2009 that the state's unemployment rate has been in the single digits.
The revised numbers also indicate that there were 465,600 Rhode Island-based jobs at the end of 2012, a number up 6,800 from previous estimates.
While most industries showed upward trends workforce in the revisions, some sectors, like educational services, information, manufacturing and construction showed losses.
Governor Lincoln Chafee said he was "encouraged, though not surprised" at the new numbers. He issued this statement Thursday afternoon:
"By investing in the necessary fundamentals of a sustainable economy – quality public education, sound infrastructure, and workforce development – my administration has been working day-in and day-out to bolster Rhode Island’s recovery. We have created a climate of certainty, stability, and predictability, giving employers the confidence to invest and create jobs in our state.
In particular, I believe my administration’s support of a consistent and fair K-12 funding formula, our investment in higher education, our conservative approach to transportation financing, our proactive work in regulatory reform, our efforts toward property tax relief and municipal stability, and our renewed focus on work-readiness and training have sent a clear and positive message to the private sector.
The state is being managed well. Our revenues are exceeding projections and state departments and agencies are controlling spending. We are being responsible with hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Things are getting better in Rhode Island, and I look forward to continuing to move our state forward with an improved and sustainable economy."
According to the newly revised numbers, Rhode Island's unemployment rate peaked in 2010 at 11.9 percent in January and February. The lowest number of Rhode Island-based jobs was seen in August of 2009, when the number fell to 456,800.