Jobs & Opportunity Index: (Jobs April 2017)

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), April 2017: Improvements May Reflect Sunny Estimates & Failing UHIP

Rhode Island experienced substantial improvement on the Job Opportunity Factor of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), although the state’s overall rank remained the same. That improvement reflects positive quarterly data addressing alternative measures of unemployment (such as long-term unemployment and involuntary part-time work). The state also did well with a decrease in SNAP enrollees, which may be indicative of distribution problems, rather than a decrease in residents’ need for the service.

Eight of the 13 datapoints used for the index are newly updated. Employment was up 1,460 from the previously recorded number, while labor force rose 1,436. (This represents a continuation of an annual surge in these numbers that typically revised away.) RI-based jobs saw no change. Meanwhile, SNAP enrollment decreased for the second month in a row, by a huge 6,585, which may reflect problems the state has had distributing the benefit. Medicaid enrollment more than compensated, with an increase of 7,217. Regarding alternate employment measures, long-term unemployment was down 600 people, involuntary part-time employment was down 1,400, and marginally attached workers were down 1,300.


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As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

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The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 48th in the country. Three other New England states remained in their ranks, with New Hampshire 1st in the country, Maine 19th, and Connecticut 35th. Massachusetts and Vermont both moved up one slot, Massachusetts to 32nd and Vermont to 20th.

Jobs & Opportunity Index: Jobs April 2017 Race To First

The second chart shows the gap between Rhode Island and New England and the United States on JOI. Both gaps closed slightly. Switching to the official unemployment rate, Rhode Island made up some ground in New England but slipped slightly on a national scale.

Jobs & Opportunity Index: Jobs April 2017 Scores

Jobs & Opportunity Index: Jobs April 2017 Unemployment Rate

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (measuring optimism that adequate work is available): RI jumped six, to 29th.
  • Freedom Factor (measuring the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained at 42nd.
  • Prosperity Factor (measuring the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI held at 46th.

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!