Thursday, April 7, 2011

Revised Data Employment Picture

As you are probably aware, in February we received the revised (i.e., rebenchmarked) labor market data for Rhode Island. The revised numbers are significantly stronger than the previously released data. Based on these, I was able to move the date for Rhode Island's recovery up to February of 2010 from June of 2010.

In an earlier post, I showed comparative employment changes from January of 2005 for Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, the US, and New England. I have re-done that chart using the rebenchmarked data. The chart is given below (click to enlarge):

While this is still very depressing, it is actually an improvement from the prior data. But, RI still saw its employment peak before any of the entities in this chart (revised earlier from January of 2007 to December of 2006), we fell farther and faster than any of the others in the chart. What's the good news? Instead of declining by 10% as we had previously thought, our (precipitous) decline was "only" 8% (leaving us at 92% of peak employment). Now that's good news -- Rhode Island style! In other words, we must consult what I refer to as the "fundamental economic equation for the Rhode Island economy":


Yet another vivid illustration of what I had referred to in a ProJo article a few years ago as Endogenous Mediocrity.

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