Jobs & Opportunity Index (47th in JOI): Reassessed into Stagnation

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), January 2019
Reassessed into Stagnation
Providence, RI – The biggest change for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s first Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) of the year is that revised employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) wiped away most of the employment progress Rhode Islanders had made and snatched away the much-touted milestone of more than 500,000 jobs in the state. As a consequence, RI fell a spot on the Freedom Factor, which measures employment and jobs against the utilization of welfare programs.
Overall, eight of the 12 datapoints of the index changed for this iteration. Employment, labor force, and RI-based jobs all dropped by thousands of people. Medicaid enrollment decreased, which counts as a positive, and alternate measures of unemployment were mildly positive (perhaps because unrevised).
“Before the new year started, our JOI index was already suggesting that the state’s economy was not as strong as campaigning politicians had wanted us to believe,” said the Center’s research director, Justin Katz. “With this year’s BLS revision, however, we must face the reality that our state has not been able to move the needle for years, despite the supposed efforts of the governor and General Assembly.”
Rhode Island’s gap from New England and the United States is becoming worse.
Additional charts and details of each of JOI’s three sub-factors can be viewed here.