Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), November 2018: Employment and Income Diverging
November’s data for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) paints a bit of a mixed picture. The Ocean State is still 47th in the country, with seven of the 12 datapoints in the index updated. (Rhode Island remains the only state not updating its SNAP [food stamp] data, thanks to UHIP, although positive news suggest this may soon change.)
Employment was down 190 people from the first-reported number for October, and the labor force dropped 208. The number of jobs in the state also dropped, by 400. Turning to the financial results that make up JOI’s Prosperity Factor, total personal income in Rhode Island increased by an annualized $359 million from the prior number, while state and local tax collections increased $71 million. On the hopeful side, the number of Rhode Islanders relying on Medicaid decreased by 1,490 enrollees.
The first chart shows RI remaining last in New England. New Hampshire leads the region, in 3rd place, nationally. Vermont held 13th place, but Maine lost the step it had taken last month and fell back to 16th. Massachusetts and Connecticut both remained in place at 36th and 40th, respectively.
The second chart shows the gaps between RI and both New England and the United States on JOI, which both increased in November. The third chart shows the gaps in the official unemployment rate, which both decreased slightly.
Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:
- Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI remained 26th.
- 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.
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