KPI Briefing Shows Rhode Island’s Economy Continues to Improve, But Employment Growth Slows in Q3

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island’s economy improved across most major indicators in the third quarter of 2022, but employment growth slowed, according to the Rhode Island Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Briefing, released today by the Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies at Bryant University and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC).

“Rhode Island’s economic trajectory was largely positive in Q3, with continued growth in both the number of employed Rhode Islanders and Rhode-Island based jobs, and a notable increase in the state’s labor force participation rate,” said RIPEC President and CEO Michael DiBiase. “Even while more Rhode Islanders are employed than before the pandemic, however, just 91.3 percent of Rhode Island-based jobs lost during the pandemic have been recovered,” he added. “In comparison, the United States has now regained all lost jobs.”

Non-farm employment increased by 0.3 percent in Q3 2022, a slower rate of increase than in Q2 (1.2 percent) or Q1 (1.0 percent). Every major industry sector except for trade, transportation, and utilities saw gains in Q3. Education and health services, the state’s largest industry sector, added jobs at a slower pace than the U.S. and New England region and has regained only 73.2 percent of jobs lost. This sector accounts for more than half of Rhode Island-based jobs that have not been recovered. 

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate for Q3 of 2.9 percent compares favorably to the region and nation and represents the lowest rate since Q3 1988. Similarly, the Ocean State experienced GDP growth in Q2 2022 while both New England and the U.S. experienced declines (Q3 data are not yet available).   

Net sales tax receipts, an indicator of demand in the economy, decreased by 1.2 percent (seasonally adjusted) from Q2 2022 to Q3 2022 but were up 8.4 percent year-over-year.

The data set used to create the Briefing is available here.


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