Rhode Island’s unemployment held at 8.9%, despite a decrease in employment and the size of the labor force. In other words, the state is still stuck in its rut. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has not yet updated its quarterly release of “alternative” state-to-state unemployment levels, but if Rhode Island’s U-6 rate increased at the same rate as the national U-6 rate, it will be over 17%. That’s the measure that includes not just those who’ve said they’ve looked for work in the past month, but also those who haven’t looked for work for a longer period plus those who say they are only working part time, while wanting full-time employment.
The first chart below shows that the employment situation’s mild gyrations are pretty much sticking to a horizontal line of no improvement.
The second chart shows that the Ocean State still has a long way to go to reach its January 2007 level of employment, and once again remains well behind Massachusetts and Connecticut.