You think it’s tough finding a job in Rhode Island if you’re an adult, try being someone just starting out. A new report shows the youth unemployment rate in Rhode Island is nearly twice the adult rate.
The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 8.8 percent. But for people aged 16 to 24, it’s 17 percent. That, according to the youth advocacy group “Young Invincibles,” which based its conclusions on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate took a healthy drop in April. But the state is still a long way from restoring all the jobs lost to the recession.
Rhode Island’s April unemployment rate was 8.8 percent. That’s three tenths of one percent lower than in March and the lowest rate in four-and-a-half years. Charles Fogarty, director of the state Department of Labor and Training, attributes the decline to increased consumer confidence.
As Rhode Island tries to overcome high unemployment, some observers argue that more urgent steps are needed to spark the economy. One of the groups making that argument is a free-market think tank, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. The center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, stopped by our studio to talk about a proposal to eliminate the sales tax and other issues.
Rhode Island still has the highest unemployment rate in the country, but now it shares that title with California. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Rhode Island and California tied for January unemployment with a rate of 9.8 percent. Nevada was close with 9.7 percent.
The rates are based on telephone surveys and may not be 100 percent accurate. Unemployment statistics are frequently revised when employer-driven data is collected.
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In a sign that Rhode Island finally, albeit slowly, is emerging from the recession, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly in January to 9.8 percent, from 9.9 percent in December.
The good news is that January represented the third consecutive month of job growth in the state. Hiring was led by the retail and restaurant industries. The jobless rate has dropped considerably since the high of 11.9 percent in January, 2010.