Rhode Island’s 47th place ranking on the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) remains intact. However, of the seven (of 12) datapoints that were updated for the June report, only the three related to Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs and employment research were positive. Additionally, SNAP (foodstamp) data remains unchanged for Rhode Island because of “system reporting issues” since January 2017.
On the positive side, employment was up from the first-reported number for May by 1,631, while labor force was up 860. The larger growth of employment than labor force translated into a drop of the unemployment rate to 4.3%. RI-based jobs increased by 2,100.
On the negative side, Medicaid enrollment increased 956. Annualized personal income (including investments) fell $307 million, while state and local taxes increased $53 million. Rhode Islnad was one of only four states to see personal income actually fall with the latest report.
These discouraging results, however, were not enough to bring down any sub-index rankings, and the Freedom Factor went up (see below).
The first chart shows RI still in the last position in New England, 47th on the in the country on the Jobs & Opportunity Index June 2018. New Hampshire still leads the region, but fell to 3rd place, nationally, with Utah joining Wyoming in the top 2. Every other New England state held steady, with Maine at 15th, Vermont at 21st, Massachusetts at 34th, and Connecticut at 37th.
The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the United States on JOI. The third chart shows the gaps in the official unemployment rate. In all cases, the Ocean State lost ground.
Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:
- Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI remained 22nd.
- Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI improved one place,
- Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.
Click here for the corresponding employment post on the Ocean State Current.