State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: Providence

providence-forceemp-1990-2012-featured

It would be possible to present Providence’s employment picture in a variety of ways, depending on what one wishes to argue.  Of course, the city’s 13.5% unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, is horrible, even in comparison with Rhode Island’s overall 11.8%.

Still, much of that employment gap results from growth in the labor force that wasn’t matched by growth in employment, meaning that more people are looking for work but are unable to find it.  From 2000 to 2010, Providence’s population grew 2.5%, and its labor force expanded 8.3%.  But the number of employed residents slid by 1.8%.

Providence, Rhode Island: Population, Labor Force, and Employment, 2000 and 2010

 

The problem for Providence, as those columns show, is that a relatively small percentage of its population is either working or looking for work. In fact, in 2010, only around 40% of the city’s residents had jobs, down from around 42% in 2000.  Only about another 6% of residents were looking for work.  Of the cities and towns that the Current has reviewed, only Central Falls has lower numbers.

If Providence’s labor force participation rate were more in line with the states, say at around 55% of residents, its March unemployment rate would have been 29.2%.

As the following chart shows, however, the city’s number of employed residents has achieved a sort of bumpy stabilization, although the trend is currently downward.  Nonetheless, recent improvements in the unemployment rate result from the fact that fewer people are looking for work, rather than more people finding it.  Unemployment is represented as the gap between the two lines.

Providence, Rhode Island: Labor Force and Employment, January 1990 to March 2012

 

 

Note on the Data

The population data above comes from the U.S. Census conducted every ten years and is therefore generally considered reliable, to the extent that is used as reference for various government programs and voter districting.

The labor force and unemployment data, however, derives from the New England City and Town Areas (NECTAS) segment of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A detailed summary of the methodology is not readily available, but in basic terms, it is a model based on and benchmarked to several public surveys. It can be assumed that the sample rate (i.e., the number of people actually surveyed) in each Rhode Island town is very small (averaging roughly 30 people per municipality).

The trends shown, it must be emphasized, are most appropriately seen as trends in the model that generally relate to what’s actually happening among the population but are not an immediate reflection of it. Taking action on the assumption that the exact number of employed or unemployed residents shown corresponds directly to real people in a town would vest much too much confidence in the model’s accuracy.

Be that as it may, the data has been collected and published, and taken a town at a time, it is relatively easy to digest. So, curiosity leads the Current to see it as the best available data to deepen our understanding of trends within Rhode Island. If the findings comport with readers’ sense of how the towns relate to each other, perhaps lessons regarding local and statewide policies may be drawn. If not, then the lesson will be on the limitations of data in our era of information overload.



  • mangeek

    It's not that Providence residents aren't interested in working, it's that we host the majority of elderly and disabled folks. Rhode Island has chased suburbanization without annexing first-rung suburbs, so we basically have a rotted core while all the wealth lives right outside the edge.

  • mangeek

    I should also note that as America 'grays', the labor force participation rate will naturally go up. For the most part It's not an indicator of decline, it's an indicator of success.

  • mangeek

    By 'up', I meant 'down'. I am an extra-bozo today.

  • Justin Katz

    I'll have to look at Providence, but in Central Falls, only about 2% of an 11% gap is due to more young and old.

  • 9 Alzheimer’s Association. 2011 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimers Dement. 2011;7(2):208?C244.?

  • The Bush administration hopes Musharraf can save his country, but he’s the man many Pakistanis blame for its crisis. Was he responsible for the assassination, as many Pakistanis believe? Did his government fail to provide adequate protection? Or did Benazir Bhutto take unnecessary risks?

  • The company distanced itself from NFL quarterback Michael Vick following a dog-fighting scandal, but by last year, .(CBS News) Another person who stayed at Yosemite National Park has been confirmed with having hantavirus, making it the ninth case linked to the current outbreak of the dangerous rodent-borne disease.

  • Officials say the man is the first person to die from hantavirus contracted in Yosemite, though there were outbreaks in 2000 and 2010.

  • “Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years,” the statement said. “Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately. Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false.”

  • Three other states voted Tuesday night on medical marijuana: Massachusetts approved its Question 3 ballot initiative, while the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act appeared set to fail by early Wednesday morning. In Montana, medical marijuana is already legal, but voters as of Wednesday appeared set to approve a measure to keep more stringent restrictions in place.(CBS) Marijuana smokers may want to put down the pipe before picking up their car keys. A new study shows smoking a doobie nearly doubles your risk of crashing your car.

  • President Obama, McCain said, “should be thinking about how to get these issues behind him. We’ve got a lot of things facing the country that he needs to lead on.”Days after his return from a secret trip to visit rebels in Syria, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reflected on the “terrible, unfair” fight he said is being fought in the war-torn country, and kept pressure high on the Obama administration to increase its assistance to opposition forces fighting the regime of President Bashir Assad.

  • Don’t be stingy. Don’t just send a note to your primary contact; send one to everyone you meet with during your visit. “Ask for a business card at the end of each interview. If one isn’t available, you can always research their name online or check with the receptionist,” Eidel says. You may also send one to anyone who got you in the door, like a recruiter or peer.

  • The Romney children walked under arches reading “A Life Without Beauty Is Only Half Lived”; past a field overlooked by Greek-style sculptures where the Detroit Lions practiced; and then a statuette of the school’s symbol, the archer from Book V of Virgil’s “Aeneid,” who “aimed an arrow high.” (In the mug honoring Romney’s Class of 1965, a naked woman replaced the aiming archer.) They looked out of leaded-glass windows in the academic buildings, crossed the spruce-spotted quad lined with modernist fountains and sleek statues of coursing hounds. They studied in reading rooms featuring frescoes and marble friezes. In the chandeliered dining room, students waited on fellow students and sat on straight-backed spindle chairs bearing the school’s insignia of a proud crane. After dinner, they wiped their mouths with cloth napkins.

  • It’s a website of unremitting waking nightmares, economic bad dreams that a little wealth redistribution would eliminate (even without eliminating the wealthy). The people contributing aren’t asking for luxuries. They would simply prefer not to be worked to death like so many nineteenth-century millworkers, nor to have their whole world come crashing down if they get sick. They want to survive with dignity, and their testimony will break your heart.

  • This government-guaranteed money would also come from a pre-established fund, not money allocated by Congress in an emergency, Martinez said.

  • He was fired in 2010 for failing a company drug test, though his employer didn’t claim he was ever impaired on the job. Coats sued to get his job back, but a trial court dismissed his claim in 2011. The judge agreed with Dish Network that medical marijuana use isn’t a “lawful activity” covered by the law.

  • Kim Kennedy

  • According to the paper, Massachusetts investigators were interested in speaking with 33-year-old Thaddeus Singleton III, of Bristol, Conn., who was married to Hernandez’s cousin.

  • UNTSO, the first U.N. peacekeeping mission, was established in May 1948 to help supervise a truce after an Arab-Israeli war that followed the breakup of Palestine into two states. According to the U.N., its military observers, numbering about 150, have remained in the Middle East to monitor cease-fires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other U.N. peacekeeping operations.

  • Penetrating an organization like AQAP is extraordinarily difficult. It means finding someone they know and will trust, and getting them to turn.

  • Recently, cataloged a few “secrets” to a great phone interview, and much of their advice was spot on. Here are the top things to consider as you prepare for the phone interviews in your own job search:

  • The mug shot of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski shows signs of struggle on his face. The police report alleges that a drunken Krusinski “approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks.” The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police.

  • “I think we give all nominees the benefit of a hearing process, et cetera,” he said. “Maybe she could start out by publicly coming back on this show and saying, I was wrong, I gave the wrong information on your show some several weeks ago. That might be a beginning.”CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

  • Fotos y galería multimedia disponibles en:ANA (All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.) has updated their website of “”, which aims at contributing to attract international tourists, on July 4th 2013. The new content “” presents Japanese high-quality animation, manga as well as video games with a concept of “Dreams”; it also introduced “Japanese Craftsmanship” to the world in a special “Imagination” of Japan.

  • Gregory Porter, 19, landed in Philadelphia after flying from Cairo to Paris. He and two other U.S. students had been arrested on the roof of a university building near Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square last Sunday after officials accused them of throwing firebombs atsecurity forces fighting with protesters

  • Safiro Furtado, 28, and Daniel Abreu, 29, were gunned down July 15, 2012 as they sat at a traffic light in Boston’s South End. A silver SUV with Rhode Island plates was reportedly seen speeding away from the drive-by shooting. No arrests have been made in the case.

  • To Serve:

  • I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

Quantcast