Raimondo touts February Jobs Report, stresses need to continue state's focus on economic development, job training and education
PROVIDENCE, RI - A week after Business Insider heralded Rhode Island as the nation's 9th best economy, new data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there were more jobs in Rhode Island last month than ever before. The State added 1,200 jobs in February and 6,300 over the last 12 months. Since Governor Raimondo has taken office, Rhode Island has created more than 16,000 new jobs. Employment is the highest it's been since 2008 and the state's labor force has grown by 4,400 over the last 12 months. Governor Gina M. Raimondo released the following statement reacting to the latest Jobs Report:
"There are more jobs in Rhode Island than ever before and more Rhode Islanders are working today than at any other time in the last decade. This report is a signal that our economy is stronger today than it was, and that's a result of the choices and investments we've made over the last three years.
"Rhode Islanders cannot afford to go backwards. Across Rhode Island, we're rebuilding roads and bridges and we've put thousands of construction workers back on the job. We can't put that investment at risk. We need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in school construction to position our students to compete for the jobs companies are creating here. We need to protect and expand job training for Rhode Islanders of all ages and all skill levels. And we need continue to compete with Massachusetts and other states to attract new businesses.
"I am encouraged by this report. It's a signal that we are moving in the right direction and that our approach is working. But I'm not satisfied. There are Rhode Islanders who still don't feel our recovery and we need to keep going to ensure that every Rhode Islander is included in our stronger and growing economy."
Other highlights of the February Jobs Report include: • There are 498,900 jobs in Rhode Island, according to this report. • Rhode Island's unemployment rate is 4.5 percent. It has been below 5 percent for 16 consecutive months. • There were 19,200 construction jobs last month, the highest count of construction jobs since November 2008. • Rhode Island manufacturers created 900 jobs over the last 12 months. • Resident employment (the number of Rhode Islanders currently employed) is the highest it's been since March 2008.