We’d be remiss if we let this little item from the Projo’s 7 to 7 blog (printed in Sunday’s Business section) slip by:
Rhode Island’s increase in unemployment was the worst in the nation last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.
The jobless rate in Rhode Island rose last year by 2.6 percentage points, reaching 9.4 percent by the end of December. The closest competitors in the category were Florida (up 2.1 percentage points) and Nevada (up 2 percentage points).
The global recession has led to increases in unemployment across the country. But overall, the average increase in joblessness in the U.S. last year was 1.2 percentage points, less then half the spike in Rhode Island.
Although, Kevin Donovan from Foster suggests that the unemployment figures that we’ve all been seeing may represent a severe undercount:
I’m curious as to how this is measured. My assumption has been that it is based on unemployment-benefit claims. Given that the State of Rhode Island is between six and eight weeks behind in processing unemployment claims, it would stand to reason that our state’s unemployment numbers are being underreported.
There were 57,800 job seekers in January, and the state’s unemployment agency is strugging to keep up with the 25,000 calls it receives each week. I’m not sure how these numbers all fit together, but if our latest unemployment rate was 10.3% on paper, what do you suppose it is in actuality?