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PODCAST: RI Biz Winners and Flops

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

 

It may be almost spring in Rhode Island and the temperatures are still frosty - an analogy not lost on the Rhode Island economy. The job market continues to suffer, but two data points were released on Monday that were both positive and unexpected. Who would have thought that RI would gain jobs in the most unlikely of categories, and score the #2 ranking in a national ranking? Steve Kass and Kate Nagle discuss.

 

Related Slideshow: 8 Discouraging Facts About Unemployment in RI



 

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Worst in the Country

9.2% unemployment rate for Jan. 2014.

Although the national unemployment rate for January was 6.6%, Rhode Island's jobless rate was 9.2% –  making it the highest in the nation. The 9.2% figure is one-tenth of a percentage point lower than it was in December 2013.

Source of data: RI DLT

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Number of Unemployed

64 consecutive months with 50,000 or more unemployed.

The number of unemployed Rhode Islanders decreased from 51,055 in Dec. 2013 to 50,600 in Jan. 2014. That said, the number of unemployed Rhode Islanders has not been below 50,000 since September 2008, which is 64 months.

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North of Nine

Above 9% unemployment for 63 straight months.

So just how long has Rhode Island's unemployment rate been above 9 percent? According to RI Department of Labor and Training statistics, the state's jobless rate has been over 9% since November 2008. That's a staggering 63 consecutive months.

Source of data: RI DLT

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Months at the Bottom

Seven consecutive months with the worst unemployment rate.

Rhode Island's unemployment rate has been worst in country each month since July 2013. Prior to that, the state was tied for worst in the nation with Nevada May 2013 when both states reported a jobless rate of 9.5%. As of Dec. 2013, Nevada's unemployment rate has dipped to 8.8%.

Sources of data: RI DLT; Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Worst in New England

Lagging behind the rest of New England in job recovery.

The rest of New England's states have not reported their unemployment rates for Jan. 2014, but the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that their respective jobless rates pale in comparison to Rhode Island. In fact the average New England unemployment rate for Dec. 2013 was 6.9%.

Here's the complete list:

  • Vermont  4.2%
  • New Hampshire  5.2%
  • Massachusetts  6.4%
  • Connecticut  6.9%
  • Maine  7.4%

 

Source of data: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Number of Employed Residents

Nearly 6,500 less employed residents than a year ago.

Rhode Island's unemployment rate may be lower than it was in January 2013, but this isn't reflected in the number of employed Rhode Islanders. In fact, there are 6,498 less people employed now than in Jan. 2013.

Source of data: RI DLT

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Shrinking Labor Force

Year-over-year decrease in total labor force.

Rhode Island's labor force increased by 200 to 550,300 in January, but the present workforce has shrunk by 9,700 compared to January 2013.

Source of data: RI DLT

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2013 Average

Next to worst in the nation for 2013.

Rhode Island's average unemployment rate for 2013 was 9.5%, which was the second highest in the country, after Nevada.

Sources of data: RI DLT; Bureau of Labor Statistics

Photo: Flickr/bytemarks

 
 

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