Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), May 2018: What There Is Is Positive

Although Rhode Island remained in 47th place on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), the four (of 12) datapoints that were updated for the May report were positive. Unfortunately, one datapoint was not updated for Rhode Island even though it was updated for every other state. The latest SNAP (foodstamp) table from the federal Food and Nutrition Service added a new footnote highlighting that “system reporting issues” have meant no new RI numbers since January 2017.

Turning to the numbers that are available: Employment was up from the first-reported number for April, by 1,489, while labor force was up 1,117. RI-based jobs increased, as well, by 1,000. Medicaid enrollment improved from the previously reported number, with a decrease of 1,281.

The first chart right shows RI still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire is still in 2nd place, nationally, behind Wyoming. Maine made progress toward the nation’s top 10, up two steps to 15th, while Vermont remained in 21st place. Massachusetts managed to return to the 34th slot that it had lost last month. Meanwhile, Connecticut held on to 37th.

Rhode Island remained in 47th place on the Jobs & Opportunity Index May 2018. Unfortunately, one datapoint was not updated for Rhode Island even though it was updated for every other state. The latest SNAP (foodstamp) table added a new footnote highlighting that “system reporting issues” have meant no new RI numbers.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the United States on Jobs & Opportunity Index May 2018. In both cases, the Ocean State gained a little ground. The same was true of the official unemployment rate, shown in the third chart.

Rhode Island remained in 47th place on the Jobs & Opportunity Index May 2018. Unfortunately, one datapoint was not updated for Rhode Island even though it was updated for every other state. The latest SNAP (foodstamp) table added a new footnote highlighting that “system reporting issues” have meant no new RI numbers.

Rhode Island remained in 47th place on the Jobs & Opportunity Index May 2018. Unfortunately, one datapoint was not updated for Rhode Island even though it was updated for every other state. The latest SNAP (foodstamp) table added a new footnote highlighting that “system reporting issues” have meant no new RI numbers.

Results for the three underlying Jobs & Opportunity Index May 2018 factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI improved one place, to 22nd.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 42nd.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.

Click here for the corresponding employment post on the Ocean State Current.

Despite some positive numbers, Rhode Island couldn’t shake its 47th place ranking on the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) in April 2018

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), April 2018: The Bottom of the Rising Tide

Despite some positive numbers, Rhode Island couldn’t shake its 47th place ranking on the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) in April 2018, and even slipped on one of the three subfactors of the index. On the Job Outlook Factor, which gauges Rhode Islanders’ optimism about job opportunities, the Ocean State fell five spots, to 22nd in the country. Overall, eight of the 12 data points of the index changed for this iteration.

Employment was up from the first-reported number for March, by 975, while labor force was up 842. RI-based jobs increased, as well, by 1,000. Medicaid enrollment improved from the previously reported number, with a decrease of 907, while SNAP (food stamps) showed no change. (Reporting problems related to the Unified Health Infrastructure Project may be an issue, here.)

Alternative measures of unemployment were also updated. Long-term unemployment (15 weeks or more) fell a little, by 200 people, while significantly fewer people (1,300) say they are involuntarily working only part time. Another 800 Rhode Islanders say they are “marginally attached,” meaning that they would potentially like to work, although the data does not indicate whether this change of attitude represents a move toward or away from job searches.

The first chart at shows RI still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire is still in 2nd place, nationally, behind Wyoming. Maine and Vermont remained in place, at 17th and 21st, respectively. Again, Massachusetts fell one, to 35th, while Connecticut held on to 37th.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the United States on JOI. In both cases, the Ocean State lost a little ground. The same was true of the official unemployment rate, shown in the third chart.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI fell five slots to 23rd.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 42nd.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.
Rhode Island’s ranking on the Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) held at 47th for March 2018, but one of the three subfactors of the index worsened. On the Freedom Factor, which measures employment and jobs against welfare enrollment, Rhode Island fell one spot to 42nd in the country.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), March 2018: A Slip in the Freedom Factor

Rhode Island’s ranking on the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) held at 47th for March 2018, but one of the three subfactors of the index worsened. On the Freedom Factor, which measures employment and jobs against welfare enrollment, Rhode Island fell one spot to 42nd in the country. Six of the 12 datapoints of the index changed for this iteration.

Employment was up from the first-reported number for February, by 737, while labor force was up 677. RI-based jobs, however, decreased by 600. Medicaid enrollment improved a little from the previously reported number, with a decrease of 103, but SNAP (food stamps) more than made up for the difference, jumping about 2%, or 3,300 enrollees, perhaps for reasons having to do with the state’s problematic Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP).

Meanwhile, federal taxation in Rhode Island was up some $310 million, or 2%.

The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire is still in 2nd place, nationally, behind Wyoming. Maine improved one spot, to 18th, while Vermont slipped one, to 21st. Massachusetts also fell one, to 34th, while Connecticut jumped six places forward, to 37th, leaving RI alone as a New England state in the bottom 10, nationally. (CT’s story may not be a good one; almost every datapoint was negative, except gross federal income taxes, which dropped 8.5%.)

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the United States on JOI. In both cases, the Ocean State lost a little ground. On the official unemployment rate, RI saw the opposite trend, closing the gaps modestly.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI held on to 18th.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI dropped to 42nd.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.
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In February 2018, Rhode Island’s ranking on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) moved not at all, remaining 47th. Although six of the seven datapoints that changed for this iteration were positive, they were apparently driven by national trends that affected other states, as well.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), February 2018 Slow and Steady Stays in Place

As 2018 got its footing in February, Rhode Island’s ranking on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) moved not at all, remaining 47th. Although six of the seven datapoints that changed for this iteration were positive, they were apparently driven by national trends that affected other states, as well. Rhode Island’s relative position therefore stayed the same.

Employment was up from the first-reported number for January, by 528, while labor force was up 738. RI-based jobs increased by 1,200. SNAP (food stamps) also improved, with a reduction of 4,288 enrollees, although complications with the state’s Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP) may be affecting this datapoint for technical reasons unrelated to the economy.

Total personal income in Rhode Island (including various forms of investment) increased 1.95%, or $852 million. However, total state and local taxation increased 2.11%, or $69 million.

The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire is still in 2nd place, nationally, behind Wyoming, and Maine held its 18th position. Vermont regained the spot it lost last month, returning to 20th. Massachusetts held on to its position of 33rd, while Connecticut’s descent paused at 43rd.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the United States on JOI. In both cases, the Ocean State closed the gap a little. On the official unemployment rate, RI again lost ground against both regions.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI held on to 18th.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.
The new year did not bring any change in Rhode Island’s ranking of 47th place on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s January 2018 Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI). The five of 12 datapoints that changed for this iteration split between positive and negative developments.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), January 2018: Year Not Off to an Auspicious Start

The year 2018 did not bring any change in Rhode Island’s ranking of 47th place on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI). The five of 12 datapoints that changed for this iteration split between positive and negative developments.

Employment was up from the revised number for December, by 330, while labor force was up 334. RI-based jobs increased, from their pre-revision number, by 400. Medicaid enrollment worsened, however, adding 2,380 enrollees, while SNAP (food stamps) also increased,
by 804.

The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire is still in 2nd place, nationally, behind Wyoming. At 18th, Maine remains ahead of Vermont, which slipped a spot, to 21st. Massachusetts held on to its position of 33rd, while Connecticut fell one spot again, to 43rd.

January 2018 Jobs & Opportunity Index Race To First

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the United States on JOI. In both cases, The Ocean State gained slightly on the U.S. average but slipped slightly against New England. On the official unemployment rate, RI lost ground against both regions.

2018 Jobs & Opportunity Index New England And US

2018 Jobs & Opportunity Index New England And US Unemployment

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI held on to 18th.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.
Rhode Island remained in 47th place on RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) for December. December jobs were down again, 372 from the previously recorded number, while labor force edged up 172.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), December 2017: Dependency Is a SNAP

Rhode Island remained in 47th place on RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) for December. The eight of 12 datapoints that changed for this iteration were a mixed bag, but overall, the implications aren’t good.

Employment was down again, 372 from the previously recorded number, while labor force edged up 172. RI-based December jobs slipped by 400. However, alternative measures of employment improved: 400 fewer long-term unemployed, 600 fewer marginally attached workers, and 800 fewer people employed only part time unwillingly. Medicaid enrollment also improved, decreasing by 3,701 enrollees, but that improvement in welfare was inverted by a 7,699 jump in SNAP (food stamps), probably resulting from resolution of the state’s backlog of applications.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

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!

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The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire is still in 2nd place, nationally, behind Wyoming. Maine overtook Vermont, however, as the the states exchanged their prior places of 18th and 20th. Massachusetts fell two slots to 33rd, while Connecticut fell one spot deeper into the bottom 10, now 42nd.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the United States on JOI. In both cases, RI’s gap eased a little. Switching to the official unemployment rate, RI’s gap also narrowed.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI improved to 18th.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.
The Ocean State managed to hop away from last place on the November Jobs & Opportunity Index, a broader measure of our economy than the unemployment rate.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), November 2017: A Step Away from the Precipice?

With some help from the downward-trending Arkansas and Louisiana, Rhode Island managed to hop away from last place on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) in November, moving from 49th to 47th. The November edition includes new numbers for seven of the 12 datapoints.

Employment was down again, 519 from the previously recorded number, while labor force edged up 226. Owing to a significant upward revision of October’s numbers, RI-based jobs increased 1,900. Personal income, although still down from the first quarter, increased an annualized $225 million (about 0.5%), while state and local taxes increased by $20 million (about 0.6%). On the welfare side, Medicaid increased by 180 enrollees, while SNAP (food stamps) dropped again, by 628. (Problems providing the benefit may indicate that the decrease isn’t based on Rhode Islanders’ need, but on the system’s failure.)


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

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!

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The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire slipped to 2nd for the first time in a long time, losing out to Wyoming. Vermont and Maine both fell, although only to 18th and 20th place, respectively. Massachusetts remained at 31st, but Connecticut fell into the bottom 10 with Rhode Island and is now 41st.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on November Jobs & Opportunity Index. In both cases, RI’s gap eased a little. Switching to the official unemployment rate, RI’s gap narrowed more slightly.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI remained 21st.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.

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!

The Ocean State is left in 49th place, nationally, on the Center's October 2017 Jobs & Opportunity Index. Eight of twelve datapoints have been updated.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), October 2017: A Mixed Report for the Wrong Reasons

Covering a two-month span, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) for October includes new numbers for eight of 12 datapoints, leaving the Ocean State in 49th place, nationally. The results are somewhat mixed, with some improved and some worsened, but it isn’t clear that the improvements indicate positive changes rather than peculiarities of the data and a reflection of the state’s ongoing problems with its Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP).

Employment was down 1,457 from the previously recorded number, while labor force fell 1,920. Also negative was the 3,900 drop in RI-based jobs, suggesting that it isn’t just a quirk of the survey. Medicaid continued its climb, although the 443-person increase wasn’t as high as in past months. One of the apparent improvements came via SNAP (food stamps), with a 392-enrollee drop, but the state’s well-reported problems providing the benefit may indicate that the decrease isn’t based on Rhode Islanders’ need, but on the government’s incompetence.

Also on the positive side, long-term unemployment, marginally attached workers, and people working only part-time involuntarily all fell (by 1,800, 400, and 3,100, respectively). However, these results could derive from the survey methodology and by workers’ just giving up, as seen in the labor force reduction.

The first chart below shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 49th in the country, while New Hampshire remained 1st. In thier close back and forth, Vermont edged out Maine, putting them in 16th and 17th place, respectively. Massachusetts stayed put, at 31st, while Connecticut fell three spots to 39th.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

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 to bring you the monthly Jobs & Opportunity Index to fight the union-progressive narrative and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

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

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The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on JOI. In both cases, RI’s gap worsened. Switching to the official unemployment rate, RI’s gap slimmed slightly. Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI improved 12 places, to 21st.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.


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 to bring you the monthly Jobs & Opportunity Index to fight the union-progressive narrative and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

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

On the Center's August Jobs & Opportunity Index, Rhode Island falls to 49th place in the country while New Hampshire remained in first place.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), August 2017: Rhode Island Squeezes the Distance from Last Place

With all but one of the 12 datapoints used for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) updated, the Ocean State has lost its long-held grip on 48th in the country and slipped to 49th. The formula for JOI ranked Rhode Island 42nd in 2005, with a slide to 48th in 2012, where the state sat for five years.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

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!

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Federal taxes collected in Rhode Island were the only metric not updated since the June report. Employment was down 592 from the previously recorded number (for June), while labor force fell 123. However, RI-based jobs increased by 3,100. Medicaid added another 4,837 Rhode Islanders, although SNAP (food stamps) shed 3,826 and TANF (welfare) decreased by 1,728. Long-term unemployment and the number of marginally attached workers fell (by 600 and 100, respectively), but those working part-time because they can’t find full-time work increased by 800.

Perhaps most significantly, Rhode Islanders’ annualized personal income (wages and investments) fell by 1.5%, or $679 million. At the same time, state and local taxes edged up by $20 million. The Ocean State remained in 47th place for the income-to-taxes, which is JOI’s Prosperity Factor.

The chart at right shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 49th in the country, while New Hampshire remained 1st. Maine moved ahead of Vermont, although both improved by several places, to 17th and 18th, respectively. Massachusetts and Connecticut both stayed put, at 31st and 36th.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on JOI. In both cases, RI’s gap worsened. Switching to the official unemployment rate, RI’s gap slimmed slightly.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI fell seven places, to 33rd.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.

Click here For Our Center's Press Release >>>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 6, 2017

Ocean State drops to 49th, nationally

Broader JOI metric undercuts boastful claims by state’s political leaders

Providence, RI – Recent boasts by state leaders about unemployment rate declines were once again undercut by a broader measure of worker prosperity. Compilation of federal government data into the national Jobs & Opprotunity Index (JOI) for August 2017 by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, showed that Rhode Island now ranks second-worst in the country (49th), dropping one spot from the most recent JOI report.

“The very narrow unemployment rate calculation doesn’t care how few hours a person works, how much they earn, how much they have to depend on government assistance, or how much in taxes they pay. The broader JOI metric takes all these factors into consideration,” said the Center’s research director, Justin Katz. “State leaders are misleading the public when they cherry pick an inadequate metric for political grandstanding.”

Among New England states, Rhode Island remained last, far behind perennial first-place New Hampshire.

The most alarming news for Rhode Islanders is that their annualized personal incomes actually fell by 1.5% while, at the same time, taxes paid increased.

Additional charts and details of each of JOI’s three sub-factors can be viewed here.

Rhode Island’s JOI rankings are also more in line with other broader national indexes, such as the Family Prosperity Index and CNBC’s Business Climate Index, where the Ocean State has consistently ranked in the bottom-five. “Most likely, our state’s misleading unemployment rate ranking means that many Ocean Staters are working in low-paying or part-time jobs, and are simultaneously burdened by excessive state and local taxes,” concluded Katz.

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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!

Improvements in the Ocean State’s employment picture were undone by loss of income on the Jobs & Opportunity Index, June 2017.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), June 2017: Employment Estimates and Income Diverge

Having skipped a month, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity registered a larger amount of movement in its Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), but improvements in the Ocean State’s employment picture were undone by loss of income. Additionally, the state’s reduction in SNAP enrollees — which may be indicative of distribution problems, rather than a decrease in residents’ need for the service — was not enough to overcome a Medicaid increase and broader trends.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

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!

show less


Nine of the 12 datapoints (now counting state and local taxes as one) used for the index are newly updated. Employment was up 1,727 from the previously recorded number (for April), while labor force rose 1,054. (This is a continuation of an annual surge in these numbers typically revised away.) RI-based jobs increased by 2,000, and SNAP enrollment continued a decreasing trend, this time dropping 9,539 since the last JOI report. Medicaid enrollment, however, increased by 1,307. Turning to money, personal income (including earnings as well as various forms of investment) dropped $378 million on an annualized basis, while federal taxes increased $234 million. A $48 million drop in state and local taxes barely dented this $612 million gap income-to-tax gap.

The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 48th in the country, while New Hampshire remained 1st. Elsewhere in New England, Vermont edged ahead of Maine, although both fell in national rank, to 21st and 22nd, respectively. Meanwhile, Massachusetts opened up its gap ahead of Connecticut, reaching 31st to the Nutmeg State’s 36th.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on JOI. RI gained some on the U.S. average but lost ground in New England. Switching to the official unemployment rate, those results flip, although movement relative to the U.S. was minimal.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI jumped three, to 29th.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI took one step, to 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI fell one, to 47th.

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!