Rhode Island’s jaw-dropping jobs deficit

Remember 1987? Shoulder pads? “Golden Girls”? DiPrete in office, not jail? Around the time I started at WPRI, I was astonished to discover something else about 1987 – namely, that Rhode Island’s nonfarm payrolls (basically, the total number of jobs in the state) is at the same level now as it was that year. It’s not that we added no jobs over the intervening 23 years – it’s just that so many were wiped out by the Great Recession that the state is back down to 1987’s level. The problem is, the labor force is 11% larger now than it…