Jobs & Opportunity Index (47th in JOI) Quiet Month in Search of a Boom

Quiet Month in Search of a Boom
Providence, RI – Another month of a strong national economy kept Rhode Island’s employment and jobs results moving in the right direction. Still, strong-enough growth to get the Ocean State out of 47th place on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity‘s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) remains elusive. That said, the Job Outlook Factor of JOI, which gauges people’s sense that jobs are available, did see Rhode Island advance from 22nd to 17th.
Overall, seven of the 12 data points of the index changed for this iteration. Six were from Bureau of Labor Force (BLS) research on jobs and employment.  The additional category of new data was Medicaid enrollment, which went slightly in the wrong direction, adding more people who are dependent on the welfare program for health coverage.
The Center ties directly this stagnation in the prosperity of our state, as demonstrated by JOI,  to our lack of economic freedoms. A new index from the Cato Institute ranks Rhode Island as 42nd in the country in overall freedom. As our name suggests, greater freedom means greater prosperity.
«Letting our sister states do the heavy economic lifting for our state shouldn’t be satisfactory,» said the Center’s research director, Justin Katz. «In order to get out of 47th place, we’re going to have to do something more than other states, whether that means more economic freedom to grow the economy or lower taxes and welfare dependence.»
Despite increases in jobs and employment, Rhode Island is a long way from leaving behind its last-place ranking in New England.
Additional charts and details of each of JOI’s three sub-factors can be  viewed here.

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