A University of Rhode Island professor who tracks the state’s economy says the last three months of 2013 were disappointing.
URI economics professor Leonard Lardaro, author of a monthly index on the Rhode Island economy, says the fourth quarter of 2013 wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t great either. Lardaro said Rhode Island is making slow progress but is still struggling to emerge from the grasp of one of the worst economic downturns in American history. A continuing problem, he said, is a shortage of skilled labor.
"We graduate a lot of skilled people but the pay here because of costs and other things is not that great so we effectively rent them out to Massachusetts and Connecticut and we’ve re-defined ‘brain drain’ since the 1990’s," said Lardaro.
For most of the past five years Rhode Island has had the highest jobless rate in New England and one of the highest in the country. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in November was nine percent, which along with Nevada, makes it the highest jobless rate in the country.
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