Despite Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s repeated claims that Rhode Island’s business climate has improved under her leadership, the state’s newest job numbers tell a different story. According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, the state lost 600 jobs in December as the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, pushing it ahead of the national rate. This marked the second straight month of rising unemployment under Raimondo, all while employment in many other states experience record growth.
Over the last year, Raimondo has repeatedly claimed to have improved the state’s business climate and focused on creating jobs, but the state’s economic growth has remained stagnant. Rhode Island has maintained a bottom 10 rating in state business rankings from CNBC and Forbes while major employers like Alexion Pharmaceuticals have fled the state, taking hundreds of high-paying manufacturing jobs with them.
In her State of the State speech earlier this week, Raimondo claimed that the Rhode Island was in the “third inning” of its economic comeback. If that’s true, these two consecutive months of rising unemployment shows that her fourth inning is off to a very poor start. Rhode Island needs a fresh start and that begins with new leadership in the governor’s office.