April 20, 2009

Not So Steady

Justin Katz

This interesting consideration was to be found after the page 7 continuation of a recent story on Rhode Island's steady unemployment figure:

No industries in Rhode Island reported job growth in March. And while the unemployment rate held steady, the state lost 1,900 jobs.

That contradiction –– a stable unemployment level amid deep job losses –– could indicate a surge in the number of Rhode Island residents finding work outside the state. But it is more likely evidence of the growth in so-called discouraged workers –– unemployed people who have given up the search for jobs and are no longer counted in the jobless rate.

The number of discouraged workers equals 2.1 percent of the state’s labor force, up from 1.6 percent a year ago and the second highest in the country after Michigan, according to the Current Population Survey.

The state-to-state discouragement numbers weren't easily available, based on a quick search, but I wonder where Rhode Island's 12.6% overall unemployment rate puts us on a ranking.

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I wonder what the number would be if we could account for everyone who left RI for a job they couldn't find here or to find one, knowing that their odds would be better elsewhere?

Then account for all of those "employed" in Rhode Island but with "survival jobs" that are below their skill level and/or former pay, or are part-time, but are "better than nothing" - the underemployed?

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at April 20, 2009 4:44 PM

Our state is being run by people whose families benefit by them being in office. Evasive action to help regionalize schools and services won't likely kappen until the 11th hour because let's face it there is no crisis when you get a steady paycheck like teachers, state workers, and union members but when our already overburdened citizens begin to move and the true exodus happens then our communities will suffer because it may be too late. The real people who suffer are our kids who will not have the education, opportunities, and or standard of life we have enjoyed. Make a resolution to report state and municipal waste as your kids suffer for todays blind eye.

Posted by: M. J. Capaldi at April 20, 2009 6:04 PM
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