Friday, January 21, 2011

Rhode Island Employment by Sector at the end of 2010

The table below (click to enlarge) shows employment by sector as of December, 2010 for Rhode Island. I have sorted these from largest to smallest sector. Their values for November of 2010 and December of 2009 are also included. Some persons combine "Accommodation & Food Services" and "Arts, Entertainment & Recreation" into a single category. That combined category would have a rank of #5 as of December, 2010.

From the "top 6," two things should be apparent. First, RI is led by sectors that don't exactly grow at explosive rates during recoveries. Second, in the "top 6" there are several groups that are very cyclically sensitive -- mainly Retail Trade and Manufacturing. While neither of these generated terribly large job gains during the run-up to "The Great Recession," both were able to generate significant declines when things here began to weaken.

How much did employment in each of these sectors change from December of 2009? The next table (click to enlarge) shows this, ranking by the size of the employment change.

Any wonder why RI's economic performance during the present recovery that began in June of 2010 hasn't exactly been stellar?

Let me end on a potentially positive note. I believe very strongly that when the RI DLT releases the revised labor market data for the past two years (in late February), the values in the above tables will be revised higher. How much higher, I can't say at the present time. And, I don't expect the rankings by sector size to change. I truly hope (and expect) that there will be more positive change sectors, whose changes that will not be as anemic as what the available data show today.

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