The nearly 20% drops in jobs and employment, and nearly 20% increase in Rhode Islanders who are working only part-time because that’s the most they could find, make the latest Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) from the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity concerning enough. Two other considerations make it worse than that.
First, most of the data points dealing with various welfare programs as well as income have a lag in their reporting dates, so they don’t reflect the effects of COVID-19, yet. Second, the Ocean State saw an annualized drop of $500 million in personal income in the last quarter of 2019, even before the virus hit.
The whole country slipped in absolute terms, but some states fared better than others. Massachusetts was particularly hard hit, falling five spots, to 41st, but the Bay State still outdoes Rhode Island, which dropped to 48th. Here’s how the New England race currently looks.