With the latest numbers, Rhode Island’s jobs and opportunity picture has worsened.
Rhode Island lost 3,900 jobs over the last two months — 1,900 in April and 2,000 more in May — a clear signal that the economy is slowing, according to data released Thursday by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.
Other numbers, like the size of the state’s labor force, are also going in the wrong direction, which unfortunately, corresponds to the state’s ranking on JOI, the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s new, broader spectrum reflection of the state’s employment situation. (Be sure to check back on Monday, when the Center will be updating the Jobs and Opportunity Index.)
State officials are quick to point to a national turn down as a contributory factor to the state’s worsening employment numbers. But that only highlights the need for Rhode Island officials to strengthen the business climate here so that we are not so susceptible to undesirable national trends.
On that front, a note to Governor Raimondo and General Assembly leadership: targeted tax breaks and subsidies do NOTHING to improve the state’s business climate as a whole. (Evidence: the one hundred jobs that General Electric will be bringing here, while welcome, have been engulfed by the 2,000 jobs that the state lost in May.) Corporate welfare only adds to the burden of the average guy and other businesses in the state.