RI regains 22% of jobs lost in recession as Mass. passes 100%

It’s a tale of two states.

Massachusetts achieved a happy milestone in January, as employment in the Bay State reached 3.31 million jobs – passing the pre-recession peak of 3.3 million reached in April 2008, and meaning Massachusetts has regained all the jobs the state lost during the Great Recession.

“The numbers are really pretty remarkable,” one private-sector researcher marveled to The Boston Globe.

They also offer a grim contrast with the numbers in Rhode Island, which has only regained 8,700 of the 39,600 jobs it lost during the downturn. Put another way, Massachusetts has recovered 110% of the jobs it lost during the recession; Rhode Island has recovered just 22%.

Here’s a chart – Rhode Island is blue, Massachusetts is red, and 100 equals previous peak employment:


A caveat: the 496,400 jobs Rhode Island had in its peak month (December 2006) was the state’s all-time record high, but the 3.304 million jobs Massachusetts had at its previous peak (April 2008) was not. The highest-ever employment level in Massachusetts was 3.385 million jobs back in February 2001, before the dot-com bubble burst; the Bay State still has 66,500 fewer jobs now than it did then.

Here’s what the same chart looks like if 100 equals the all-time highest employment level for each state:


IHS Global Insight predicts Rhode Island won’t return to its pre-recession number of jobs until sometime after 2017, or at least half a decade from now. Only Nevada and Michigan are in the same boat:


• Related: RI has lost 10% of its prime working-age population since 2006 (March 4)

11 thoughts on “RI regains 22% of jobs lost in recession as Mass. passes 100%

  1. you can see the dot.com crash in 2000 and the recovery from 2002-2007. but that really wasnt a recovery in ri. that was just people remortgaging their houses and sucking equity out of them and spending the money which stimulated the local economy and people got jobs as mortgage brokers, real estate agents, appraisers, etc, there really was no recovery in that time frame nor was a new economy created.

    and if you want to go back farther, this slide really started in 1990 when the credit unions closed, there really has been very little net real growth in industry in ri since then.

    all of the bigger employers, fleet, hospital trust, at cross, hasbro, apc,brooks drug,the last of the jewelry industry etc have all downsized or left the state since then.

    citizens bank, amica and gtech stayed about the same i think.

    the only significant increase has been cvs and lifespan maybe.

    i agree with the previous commnets that ri relied on real estate and manufacturing and never see past that

    looks like ri is the bottom of the barrel again…..

  2. Maybe these numbers will prod the General Assembly to do something besides worry about a state appetizer and circus elephants. Nah, that’s just wishful thinking. No matter how dismal the numbers they just blissfully roll along as if nothing is wrong.

    • The problem with the GA is that as long as their wallets are getting fatter they don’t give a hoot about the rest of us.

  3. We should be very proud of ourselves! We are worry about a state appetizer and circus elephants. It is more of a priority than educating our children and putting people back to work. We are the fools for keep electing these people!

  4. I moved from RI to MA and saved 6,000 a year in property taxes alone! also, gas , food, insurance ect… all cheaper in MA.

  5. Let’s see we are recognized worst for small business, we are the fourth worst for persoanl and financial freedom, the sackonnet bridge tolls are going to kill what the general assembly has not yet destroyed of businesses on the east bay, and the governor has placed George Nee on the EDC to lure businesses into the state.

    now that is a formula for building a strong business base. We better stick to appetizers and elephants.

  6. Of course MA is doing better, for RIers near the boarder shop their, since so much is cheaper. Many RIers now work in MA because there are NO JOBS in RI at all. This is all that’s available in RI to do for a living:

    Call Center Rep. (Thus Citizens bank, BLAH!)
    Cashier (Thus stores like CVS–Blah!)
    Waiter (Thus the rotation of opening and closing of restaurants, for RIers can’t afford to eat out)
    If lucky enough (and who you know) you work for the state. (Why we have NO jobs for companies get screwed here–for they have to pay so much in taxes to keep slugs that sit at fax machines and are crossing guards at $30.00 an hour employed via the state)
    –If you’re gonna plan living in RI, forget about attending college, aint’ worth sh*t getting an education in a career here, for there’s no such thing.

    I say RI should just go up for sale to the highest bidder…..It’s as much a failure as it’s own belly-up company: 38 studios.

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