RI Job Count Adjusted Up; Rhode Islanders Not Necessarily the Beneficiaries

After months of hearing from various sources, notably URI economist Len Lardaro, that official jobs reports for Rhode Island were inaccurately gloomy, I was thrilled, yesterday, to see Governor Chafee authorize the state Department of Labor and Training (DLT) to release new estimates.
Basically, there is a substantial lag before the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes official, verified data on the number of jobs there are originating in Rhode Island. Between publications, the BLS releases monthly estimates based on its models and smaller surveys, which it adjusts as needed when more concrete data becomes available. Using a more accurate data set, the DLT says that the jobs picture improved to 464,700 jobs in March, compared with the “official” 457,700 jobs, both measured against the March 2011 number of 459,900.
The official number shows a decrease, while the revised number shows an increase. The following chart puts the two numbers into graphical context.
Jobs Based in Rhode Island, All Industries, Official Versus Revised, March 2002 to March 2012
It’s important to note that this is not the data used to calculate labor force, employment, and unemployment numbers for the state. The above data is employer-focused, based on tax filings and survey results from employers in Rhode Island with regard to the number of employees that they have. The unemployment rate and related data come from surveys of Rhode Islanders with regard to whether or not they are working.
According to that data, the number of employed people living in Rhode Island dropped from March 2011 to March 2012 by 5,258.
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