Whether or not there has been any tangible evidence, the statistics have suggested that Rhode Islanders’ job prospects boomed for the first six months of 2014. The number of employed Rhode Islanders hit a ledge in July, but a state doesn’t lead the country in job growth without showing some gains relative to other states.
In the case of the Ocean State, it managed to slip its unemployment rate below those of the Southern states of Mississippi and Georgia. For the first time in a long time, that is, Rhode Island doesn’t have the worst unemployment rate in the country.
The safe money, however, should still bet on a dramatic revision to the data, next January. What the numbers will turn out to show after the election will be interesting to see.
The first chart below illustrates the boom and halt, as well as the multi-year patter that 2014 has shown, thus far.
The second chart shows that, however well Rhode Island may compare with distant states in another region, it continues to lag the two neighbors whose economies the Ocean State’s should more closely resemble.
The third chart shows the unemployment rate as it’s been in comparison with what it would have been if so many Rhode Islanders hadn’t stopped looking for work. (When the total labor force decreases, fewer people who are not working are considered “unemployed” because they aren’t looking for work.)