URI Prof: Rhode Island economy stalling

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's economy is stalling. That's the finding of the latest economic index out of the University of Rhode Island.

URI Economics professor Len Lardaro says while the state's unemployment rate dropped in August, so did its labor force. Lardaro says Rhode Island has lost the momentum it gained at the beginning of the year. While Rhode Island isn't in a recession now, he worries that it could be in the future.

"Rhode Island does not have enough of a presence in growth and technology industries," says Lardaro. "We have some real baggage in the skills of our labor force are not adequate, therefore the cost of doing business in the state is problematic as virtually any 50 state comparison will always sadly attest to."

Lardaro says the rise in manufacturing hours is a bright spot. But retails sales, which are a major force in Rhode Island's economy, are down.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.