Kate Bramson’s Providence Journal article about the latest employment numbers broadens the presentation beyond what the unemployment rate often enjoys, and not just because she quotes me:
A clearer picture of the state’s jobs data will be available early next year, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revises states’ jobs data for the year. The numbers released each fall aren’t always the most accurate depiction of the local economy because monthly reports are calculated based on survey data from the prior autumn. The federal revisions take into consideration newer data.
Justin Katz, research director for the nonprofit Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, said the state’s jobs numbers are “not encouraging.”
“Both employment and Rhode Island-based jobs have fluctuated around painfully low growth rates since the recession ended years ago, and the loss of Rhode Islanders even interested in working has provided a perverse silver lining by artificially lowering the unemployment rate,” Katz said in a statement. “If the upcoming revision of annual data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics follows the usual pattern, Rhode Island will have seen barely any increase in employment since the summer of 2015.”
It’ll be nice, one day, when Rhode Island’s economy negates my skepticism and brings about upward revisions of our employment data. Perhaps national policy can bring about that outcome, but I suspect it’s going to take Rhode Islanders’ declaration that they’ve had enough of the status quo and forcing of a new economy philosophy in state government.