Jobs & Opportunity Index: Technical Documentation

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[Click here for a printable PDF.]

SOURCES

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) Data Sources

Data description Data period Units Source
Civilian labor force Monthly Individuals www.bls.gov/lau/rdscnp16.htm (seasonally adjusted)
Employment Monthly Individuals www.bls.gov/lau/rdscnp16.htm (seasonally adjusted)
Jobs based in the state Monthly Individuals www.bls.gov/sae/ (Table D-1)
Long-term unemployed Quarterly Individuals www.bls.gov/lau/stalt_moave.xlsx
All marginally attached residents Quarterly Individuals www.bls.gov/lau/stalt_moave.xlsx
Involuntary part-time employed Quarterly Individuals www.bls.gov/lau/stalt_moave.xlsx
Medicaid enrollment Monthly Individuals www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/program-information/medicaid-and-chip-enrollment-data/previous-monthly-medicaid-and-chip-application-eligibility-determination-and-enrollment-reports-and-updated-data.html
SNAP enrollment Monthly Individuals
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Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), March 2016: A More-Accurate View of RI’s Employment Situation

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During the Center’s years of analyzing employment reports from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we have observed that the numbers often do not reflect the real experience of Rhode Islanders and that news reports often exacerbate the disconnect. For example, an unemployment rate that improves when more people give up looking for work than lose their jobs is self-evidently not a useful gauge of employment health.

Beginning with March 2016 data, ...

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JOI – The Jobs & Opportunity Index: Tracing Rhode Island’s Economic Progress

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WHY THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS A POOR INDICATOR OF ECONOMIC WELL-BEING

Rhode Islanders want to prosper in an economic climate that rewards hard work, encourages small-business growth, creates quality jobs, and can lead to a better life for their families.

In this regard, the traditionally cited monthly unemployment rate is often used by state lawmakers as a benchmark to evaluate the effectiveness of state economic policy initiatives. However, this rate represents a very narrow glimpse of ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, March 2016: Up but Losing Ground

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Although Rhode Island’s unemployment rate held at 5.4% in March, the good news from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is that the two components of the rate were both in positive territory: Labor force was up 683, and employment was up 561.

Be that as it may, the first monthly chart shows that these relatively small increases weren’t enough to change the ongoing story of stagnant employment growth and ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, January 2016: New Year Not Off to an Early Good Start

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While Rhode Island’s January employment results from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) generally indicated continuing stagnation, one difference from last year is that the first results for the year didn’t show a large jump up that will later be revised down. They showed almost no bump; we’ll have to wait until next year to find out whether the trend of downward revisions will continue.

In a nutshell, the state ...

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Rhode Island Employment Revision, December 2015: Expected Revision Drops Employment and Changes Narrative

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As expected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS’s) annual revision of employment data for Rhode Island changed the picture substantially, undermining claims that politicians and activists have been making about Rhode Island’s economy. For December, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate was revised up from 5.1%, to 5.4%. What had been reported as 29 straight months of decreases actually involved a halting motion.

Even that description overstates the improvement, though. As the first ...

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P3 PayGo Testimony, House Finance 2/4/16

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Transcript:

Good evening. My name is Justin Katz.  I’m the research director for the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity.

The amazing thing about infrastructure, and this whole issue, is that we’ve got roads that need repair, we’ve got workers who want to repair them, we’ve got a public that wants to pay to fix the roads — the problem is we’ve got special interests who already have the money we’re already paying to fix the ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, December 2015: Late 2015 Shed Much of Early 2015’s Gains

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With the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS’s) release of preliminary December employment data for Rhode Island and the country, a sense of the year (and the likely revisions forthcoming) comes into focus. In December, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped once again, to 5.1%, from 5.2% in November, bringing the string of decreases to 29 straight months.

Once again, though, the apparent improvement came only because the employment drop (of 371 people) ...

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Rhode Island NAEP in Context: Improvement Hit Ceiling in 2011

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HALT IN EDUCATION REFORM PRODUCED DROP IN STUDENT TEST SCORES. Every two years, the National Center for Education Statistics releases state-level results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. Since 2001, the federal government has required all states receiving Title I funding (that is, all states) to conduct the tests in reading and mathematics at the fourth and eighth grade levels. NAEP, also known as “the nation’s report card,” is therefore the most accurate tool for ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, November 2015: Expected Down Note as Last Report of the Year

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The trend that has come to define Rhode Island’s employment picture in 2015 (indeed, since the end of the recession) continued for the final Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report for the year. In November, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%, from 5.3% in October. That’s 28 straight months of decreases in the rate of at least one-tenth of one percent. As usual, however, the positive rate resulted from ...

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