Inching Progress on JOI (Jobs & Opportunity Index) Is Not Enough

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There has only been one way of doing things in Rhode Island for far too long. We have seen the results in our state’s failed rankings. Yet, the insiders and elitists love to point to the rising employment figure to justify their status quo ideas. For this reason the Center has developed the Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI). If our elected leaders are to craft and advance legislation that removes barriers to the creation of meaningful work and that provides broader economic opportunities for all Rhode Island families, it is important that lawmakers are provided with a deeper measure of economic well-being.

While on the July Jobs & Opportunity Index Rhode Island edged past New York to claim the rank of 47th out of 50 states in the nation, this slow progress is not enough. Rhode Island families deserve more than these bottom results. We updated eight of thirteen data-points with newly available information this month. The Ocean State even managed to narrow its gap with the New England and U.S. averages slightly, although the state remained in last place in the region by a significant margin.

The results are based on three underlying factors. On the Job Outlook Factor, measuring optimism that adequate work is available, Rhode Island moved forward five slots to 38th place. On the Freedom Factor, measuring the level of work against reliance on welfare programs, Rhode Island remained at 39th. On the Prosperity Factor, measuring the financial motivation of income versus taxes, the Ocean State still ranks 46th, with no data points updated. Click here now to see our full updated post on this month’s rankings.

In closing, there are better answers than the status quo public policy culture in Rhode Island. How many of us would say that the status quo is making anything easier on the average family? For too long, the political elites have thought they’ve known how to better run your life than you do. Basing our public policy culture on the normal unemployment rate is not in the best interest of Rhode Islanders. I encourage you to speak out against the insiders who want further their own agenda, while your family is kept out of the process. Things can change here in the Ocean State, but it is to each of to make sure that it happens.



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