In my first post on this Blog, I provided a series of charts comparing Rhode Island to the US, New England, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. I have (sadly) updated the most important of them, payroll employment, with the most recent data. The chart below shows this (caution: if you have just eaten, you should probably wait about an hour before viewing this chart. For those who haven't just eaten, click to enlarge):
- Payroll employment in Rhode Island peaked in December of 2006, well before the peaks in the US, New England, Massachusetts, or Connecticut;
- Rhode Island's payroll employment fell by a greater percentage than any of the other entities in the chart, by 8% from its peak;
- At its best during this recovery Rhode Island's payroll employment moved back to just slightly above 93 percent of its prior peak;
- All of the other entities in the chart have seen rising employment for some time now, moving ever closer to their prior peaks while Rhode Island has regressed -- its payroll employment is declining, falling back to just above 92 percent of its peak level.
- If you want to see what is happening to the unemployment rate in all of these entities, flip this chart upside down. This explains why Rhode Island has such a stubbornly high jobless rate -- we're not creating jobs!