RI’s stubbornly high ‘underemployment’ rate stuck around 19%

The share of Rhode Island workers who are unemployed or too discouraged to look is falling – at a snail’s place.

Rhode Island’s “underemployment” rate averaged 18.7% in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, down from 18.8% as of June 30 and 19% as of March 31, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

The underemployment rate averaged 8.8% between 2003 and 2007. It soared to a high of 19.4% in March 2010, then fell by less than a percentage point in the year and a half that followed:

The underemployment rate – officially called “U-6,” for its data classification name – counts not only those unemployed workers who are still looking for a job, as the official rate does, but also those who are only working part-time because they cannot find a full-time job.

For comparison’s sake, Rhode Island’s official unemployment rate averaged 10.9% in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, nearly eight points below the underemployment rate.

The U-6 measure is not released monthly, as the standard unemployment rate is, but rather as a 12-month moving average each quarter. (It was only done annually before 2009, which is why the chart above looks the way it does.)

• Related: RI jobless rate rises to 10.8%, but economist questions data (Jan. 20)

52 thoughts on “RI’s stubbornly high ‘underemployment’ rate stuck around 19%

  1. I am not from Rhode Island and I find the people of Rhode Island myopic, provincial, show lack of insight, are emotionally gifted, have poor judgment, are ethically challenged, and are morally bankrupt. Then they question why the state leads in everything negative and brings up the rear in anything positive.
    I don’t run a company. I can see this of Rhode Islanders. What type of impression do you think someone runs a company or who wants to expand their company thinks of Rhode Islands population?

      • Where I am from which is Houston, was crying during the depth of the recession there were only 54,000 jobs created in July 2009. Rhode Island has never had 54,000 jobs created in a decade.

    • Ed, I am from Rhode Island, lived here all my life and quite frankly I think you’re being way too kind. I would have added stupid and rude to the list. Pauly D is the best we got, that says it all.

      • Thank you Cosmo.I also find many people inept. It is scary. I am going to use two terrible examples. The first is with Rep Carnavele, his ex wife enabled him to hurt another woman. She died before justice was served. The next issue is the lady that was sliced and diced in Johnston. Supposedly she had a restaining order from this dirtbag. My question is why was she still living with him? Especially with how generous the social services are in Rhode Island.

  2. Part and parcel of why more and more residents are looking to and planning to invest in moving vans… out of this pathetic excuse for a state/political jurisdiction. Tonight our fifth rate socialist hack chief executive will play act about his concern for those not making it in his phony promotion of a fake economic recovery. Count on Rhode Island’s four excuses for representation in Congress to mouth and repeat his baloney. The love of government/power and using other people’s money to buy votes is their idea of civic pursuit. The lot of them are clueless. We’d be better off with this crew serving in the far left benches of the typical failed socialist European parliaments.

  3. Ed – I’d LOVE to know where you’re from. Please let ME generalize the people where you come from. Your post shows exactly how uneducated you are.

    • Does the truth hurt? Read my post under Eric. I am from Houston but lived in many parts of the country. Any place is better thanRhode Island. WJAR reported that the number of housing sales are up while prices are down.

      • Houston, thanks for the laugh!! HAHAHHAA I’d be more than willing to take an IQ test with you? Your to stupid for words. I do not live in RI either but your generalizations do show your IQ.

      • Ed, sure, some people here are what you said, but everyone?? Come on, man! I know a lot of hard working people that live in this state, and the descriptions you gave only apply to small percentage. You can say this about any area. The reason companies don’t come here is because this state is not very business friendly, simple as that.

        BTW, I’ve been to Houston before and it’s nothing special. Pretty much like any other southern city I’ve been to. If you said you were from San Antonio, then I’d be somewhat jealous….

        Keep on trollin’

      • Eric, perception is reality. Where are the companies that are racing across the border into Rhode Island to rent or buy the unlimited amount of business space and then to hire the unemployed population? Think what about what you said.

        San Antonio is a great city. Just go to get the Army out of the area.

    • Oreo, Houston is the same size as Rhode Island with twice the population. What Houston has that Rhode Island does not have, is 17 times as many people with assets over a $1million dollars. Houston also has no zoning laws. This means that eventually seedy areas get torn down and redeveloped.

      • Um, Ed, I agree with much of what you are saying, but Texas is much bigger than RI…Unless it’s a typo..I type fast and miss things sometimes..

      • To a cut above. I am ONLY talking about HOUSTON! The city of Houston has again 17 times as many people who have a million dollars in assets. Houston has twice the population in the same land mass. Rhode Island is the size of the King ranch. The state of Texas has 20 times the population as Rhode Island. I don’t know how many millionaires in the rest of the state. Texas has the colinia area along the border, which is a poor area.

  4. I’m sure someone from Houston absorbers as much of Rhode Island, as I absorb what is going on in Rogers, Arkansas …. Nice try!

  5. I have lived in many places, but was born and raised in Rhode Island. This is a pathetic place to live. I have never seen so many complacent people in my life. Everyone is always looking for a handout. “Everybody else does it.” and “the government is always scr**ing us, so why shouldn’t we do it to them.” The problem is they don’t see the taxpayers as the government because the politicians have gotten away with so much. When asked why they don’t vote these guys out, I’ve been told “We might get someone worse.” I tell them you don’t know unless you try, and if you don’t like them you can vote them out in a few years. In the interim we keep getting taxed to the point of oblivion, and the state is losing out on legitimate taxes cause people are moving and / or not buying things because of their wreckless moves.

    • Shirley and Ed, I’ve lived in Tax He** and Providence Plantations my entire life. You two are 100% correct. I don’t know what OREO is smoking but it’s probably not legal. And Shirley, the other reason behind the politiicans in place not being voted out of office is the unofficial state motto “I know somebody.” Ed, keep swinging that sledge hammer, you’re hitting the nail on the head with every swing.

      • Ed, there are only a few people in RI who even want to know the truth and those of us who do and actually try to speak the truth are in constant danger of being tarred and feathered by public employees for opposing yet higher taxes to pay for their absurb pay, benefits and retirement.

  6. I just checked Houston on Wikipedia, Ed is right it’s much better than RI. However, two things jump right out at me. There is an awful lot of murdering going on down there (see FBI statistics) and worst of all…There is no sports franchise worth a damn. “GO PATS!”

    • If we could import some of the people from Houston, give them the names of our entire bought and paid for general assembly and let them loose that would be great. And Nelson,after paying my sky high RI income taxes, my sky high sales taxes and my sky high property taxes I can’t tell you how much better it makes me feel that we have the PATS. Mostly because it doesn’t.

  7. Let’s face it, RI is the public sector capital of the world. We are driven by the public sector and it creates a terrible perception in the rest of the country. In other states, you can’t collect a pension at 38 and police don’t make 100k a year. RI is a unfriendly state for business so businesses to go massachuettts and other places.

    • Wow george, between you, ed, shirley and yri the comments are great today. Good insight all around, I just wish we could convince the whole state. But alas, I think RI is pretty much a lost cause.

    • George I agree with what you said, we need a strong private sector to create jobs. Restaurants don’t create wealth, they create more people on RIte Care.

  8. Ed please check out the crime rates for the Houston area compaired to RI. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!! Houston is 10 times worse in crime, all of it rape, murder ect…. Houston excells in CRIME!! HAHHAHA

  9. Ed says:
    January 24, 2012 at 7:13 am
    I am not from Rhode Island and I find the people of Rhode Island myopic, provincial, show lack of insight, are emotionally gifted, have poor judgment, are ethically challenged, and are morally bankrupt. Then they question why the state leads in everything negative and brings up the rear in anything positive.
    I don’t run a company. I can see this of Rhode Islanders. What type of impression do you think someone runs a company or who wants to expand their company thinks of Rhode Islands population?

    —Ed, I totally agree. They let prayer banners get torn down, they let our Gov.Chafee give tax breaks to illegal aliens, they persecute cops when they try to enforce the law and they make celebrities out of mayors that served time in jail!

    If you want to earn a decent living without selling your soul or get a job by “who you know” at the state house, RI is not the place for you.

    There is no opportunity to grow financially in RI. The top 2 jobs in RI is working in retail and waitressing. As soon as I am finished with my education, I am looking at other states for employment and hopefully will be able to surround myself with better poeple with class and works at wanting to live for a more quality of life.

  10. OREO says:
    January 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    Ed please check out the crime rates for the Houston area compaired to RI. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!! Houston is 10 times worse in crime, all of it rape, murder ect…. Houston excells in CRIME!! HAHHAHA

    —Poor comparison, for Texas is 10 times the size of RI….

    • I know there is crime in Houston I will be glad to tell your where. It is along Telegraph Road. Along Airline. It is Greenpoint, in southeast houston. Galena Park. When I volunteered with the Red Cross I went into the areas. Many of the areas where crime takes place are like south Providence, Central Falls, Federal Hill, Olneyville Mount Pleasant, West Warwick sections of Warwick, sections of North Kingstown where Crossroads took over old navy housing. Westerly, Woonsockett,Cumberland, Lincoln, Coventry, Cranston Johnston.
      Where I lived in Tanglewood we had two police forces, the Houston PD and area police force. If there was an issue there were police there. It is not like in Rhode Island that the cops won’t respond.

  11. Cosmo says:
    January 24, 2012 at 8:45 am
    Ed, I am from Rhode Island, lived here all my life and quite frankly I think you’re being way too kind. I would have added stupid and rude to the list. Pauly D is the best we got, that says it all.

    —Oh, Cosmo, don’t forget our very own Queen of dodging taxes–Richard Hatch from Survivor!!

  12. Ed says:
    January 24, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Where I am from which is Houston, was crying during the depth of the recession there were only 54,000 jobs created in July 2009. Rhode Island has never had 54,000 jobs created in a decade.

    –I agree! They will announce in the news a company is seeking to hire 100 poeple, then, the next day, another company announces they are cutting 250 jobs!

    We just can’t win in this state!

  13. If the commenters on here who say this state is doomed and full of idiots spent even half as much time trying to come up with solutions, maybe we’d have a lower unemployment rate.

    But sadly, they prefer to sit in front of their computers and whine about how it’s other Rhode Islanders who are ruining things, not them.

    • Good one Chris, and for anybody who hadn’t had the opportunity to witness what goes on in RI politics firsthand you’d make an impression. But you fall short with me because my dad tried that approach when he was in public office in the 70’s. He was honest and did what he though best and for that the democrat political establishment tossed him out of office in short order. Therefore I got the chance to learn from someone else’s experience. If you think anything has changed your’re delusional. And for the record, it’s not whining if it’s the truth.

    • Excuse me, Chris don’t know nothing about what poeple have done to change things in this state. I’ve have wokred on political Campaigns and have wrote many letters to our congressmen and to Chafee. Chafee doest’t even have the decentcy to sent a generic reply to you. The problem is RI is filled with many naive and uneducated librals that do not see the big picture on concerns. And America itself is the same way with Obama–which I consider his administration a the LOST YEARS of the USA (Hopefully there will not be 4 more)!

      And what have you done to help make RI a better place, Chris?

      • Cosmo: It IS whining if it’s the truth and you’re not actively working to change the status quo.

        a cut above the rest: Sorry, but I’m not the one whining and complaining about how the state is run. You are. Don’t turn this back around on me.

        If you think that working on a campaign or sending a letter is going to change things, you’re sadly mistaken. When was the last time you attended a public meeting? When was the last time you made your actual voice heard to public officials? Here’s a tip: they’re not reading these comments.

        Look, this state is in bad shape, and it’s bad enough that people think that the status-quo is okay. But it’s worse when the people who don’t think the status-quo is okay just give up on fighting it.

    • A U-6 near 20% and you are satisfied with how the state is run?

      Funny you’ve posted twice just to complain about people complaining.

      I fail to see the difference.

      • You’ve failed to read my other post, when I said, “this state is in bad shape.” I’m not at all satisfied with how the state is run, but I know that whining about it in the comments of a blog post is unproductive.

        I was speaking specifically of people who have *given up* on trying to change things in this state, yet continue to complain. Put your money where your mouth is.

    • Chris, I have been calling the Governors office letting him know what I think about his policies. Here is the phone number 222-2080. I have been in contact with the speaker. My one elected offical has a criminal case against him, the other has a convicted murderer on his staff, another one is a lawyer with the state DOT. These boys don’t listen nor do they want to hear what I have to say. I may not agree with Gordon Fox but I have to give him credit he does respond to inquiries.

  14. Houston? Thatks in east Texas isn’t it? The same place where they chained a black man to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged him to death. Yeah, that is what I thought.

    • Jasper TX is over 200 miles east and Brewer has been excuted while King remains on death row Berry was sentenced to life in prison. I have never seen a murderer excuted in Rhode Island.

      • Oh I guess those racist beliefs confine themselves to the Jasper area. Yeah right.

        I haven’t seen an innocent person or one who had negligent defense counsel executed in Rhode Island either. Can’t say that about Texas.

        I can’t recall any lynchings in Rhode Island either. Can’t say that about Texas.

    • Ace you most likely have never been out of New England either. I have lived in 10 states been to 44 of the 50. Have been to 12 different countries, some third world and Rhode Island is by far the most backward.

  15. I send e-mails and vote. I’ve tried the meeting thing and it just doesn’t work much. I usually vote against the incumbent, cause I will try anything to try to make things better for our state. I don’t have the educational backround to run for office. I don’t pretend to be highly intelligent or politically savvy, but do understand some of the constitution and know we no longer have representatives, only politicians. I will believe in our state and country when all of the politicians decide to adhere to the constitution like they say when they take oath of office. When they don’t make exceptions to the laws and by-laws they make for everyone else I may start to have a bit of respect for them and the office they hold. I believe in the constitution and capitalism, but not at the expense of the PEOPLE of this country.

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