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PODCAST: RI Employment Situation is Worse than Reported

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

 

The employment market in Rhode Island ranks as one of the nation's worst since the start of the "Great Recession." The Department of Labor recently reported that Rhode Island's unemployment is now ranked as the worst in the country. Last week, the RI Department of Labor and Training released the state's unemployment rate from November (9.0%), which was down slightly from October (9.2%), but still ranked as the highest in the nation (tied with Nevada). The National Unemployment rate for the month of November was 7.0 percent .

 

Related Slideshow: Pew Research: New England Employment Figures From FY2007 to FY2013

While unemployment figures receive more media attention, the employment rate is a preferred index for many economists because it provides a sharper picture of changes in the labor market. The unemployment rate, for example, fails to count workers who stopped looking for a job. By focusing on 25- to 54-year-olds, trends are less distorted by demographic effects such as older and younger workers’ choices regarding retirement or full-time education.

Below are the employment rates in FY2007 and FY2013 for New England states as referenced by the Pew Charitable Trust's "Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis" Report, ranked from best to worst.

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#1 Vermont

CY2007 Employment-population ratio: 83.5%

FY2013 Employment-population ratio: 82.6%

Percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: -0.9

Statistical significance of percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: not significant

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#2 New Hampshire

CY2007 Employment-population ratio: 85.1%

FY2013 Employment-population ratio: 82.4%

Percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: -2.7

Statistical significance of percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: not significant

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#3 Massachusetts

CY2007 Employment-population ratio: 80.3%

FY2013 Employment-population ratio: 79.1%

Percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: -1.3

Statistical significance of percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: not significant

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#4 Connecticut

CY2007 Employment-population ratio: 81.8%

FY2013 Employment-population ratio: 77.1%

Percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: -4.8

Statistical significance of percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: significant

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#5 Rhode Island

CY2007 Employment-population ratio: 82.5%

FY2013 Employment-population ratio: 76.8%

Percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: -5.7

Statistical significance of percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: significant

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#6 Maine

CY2007 Employment-population ratio: 81.3%

FY2013 Employment-population ratio: 76.6%

Percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: -4.6

Statistical significance of percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: significant

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United States Average

CY2007 Employment-population ratio: 79.9%

FY2013 Employment-population ratio: 75.9%

Percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: -4.1

Statistical significance of percentage point change, CY2007-FY2013: significant

 
 

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