CFED Scorecard

Kostrzewa: U.S. Economy Strengthens, R.I. Still Lags

John Kostrzewa
Providence Journal
Jan 29, 2015

Rhode Island ranked 47th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in a new analysis of the rates of underemployed residents, including part-time workers who want full-time jobs and discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work.

The survey, released Thursday by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, also found that nearly one quarter of Rhode Islanders are employed in low-wage jobs.

In a separate ranking, the CFED, a Washington-based non-profit advocate of low and moderate income households, said Rhode Island was 48th among the states and District of Columbia for average credit card debt.

“The economic recovery experienced by some segments of our society is barely a blip in the lives of millions of Americans who continue to struggle in low-wage jobs and have little ability to save and build a better future for themselves and their children,” said Andrea Levere, president of CFED, in a statement.

The report showed that while the U.S. economy is strengthening – the unemployment rate is down to 5.6 percent and gross domestic product grew by 5 percent in the third quarter, there are still areas such as Rhode Island that are struggling to recover.

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in December and the fourth worst in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Rates in other New England states were: Connecticut, 6.4 percent; Maine, 5.5 percent; Massachusetts, 5.5 percent; New Hampshire, 4.0 percent; and Vermont, 4.2 percent.

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