Huge Employment Growth in a Slowing Economy?


It’s no secret that I’m extremely skeptical about the government’s employment data for Rhode Island, and I do periodically hope to be proven wrong.  But I just don’t see how one can reconcile the state’s employment surge in the past six months with this, in the Providence Business News:

Rhode Island’s economic growth failed to meet expectations in the first quarter, posting a gain of 1.5 percent, according to the Rhode Island Current Economic Indicator briefing released Monday by the Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

While the briefing said the economy experienced growth, it is showing continued signs of weakness, as its rate of growth slowed from the fourth quarter, when it grew 1.7 percent.

It also failed to meet previous projections of 2 percent growth for the first quarter.

It’s possible Rhode Islanders are finding jobs in neighboring states, but when I investigated that possibility last year to dig into another inexplicably good first-half for Rhode Island, the evidence didn’t seem there.