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.)


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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!

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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!

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