The Boston Fed’s New England Public Policy Center promotes better public policy in New England by conducting and disseminating objective, high-quality research and analysis of strategically identified regional economic and policy issues.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has recently focused research on Rhode Island's economy. The state experienced a more severe downturn during the Great Recession than any other New England state and for some time lagged other states in the region and the nation in some measures of labor market health. In 2014, Boston Fed research explored factors contributing to Rhode Island’s experience:
Rhode Island in the Great Recession: Factors Contributing to its Sharp Downturn and Slow Recovery
by Mary A. Burke, Current Policy Perspectives No. 14-9
While the Rhode Island economy has improved recently, some concerns about the health of the labor market remain. In 2015, Boston Fed research explored whether the state's workforce lacks skills that are in demand among the state's employers and, if so, whether such a skills gap or labor market "mismatch" significantly restrains employment growth in the state:
The Rhode Island Labor Market in Recovery: Where is the Skills Gap?
by Mary A. Burke, Current Policy Perspectives No. 15-7
On April 11, 2016 Dr. Burke presented findings from the 2015 skills gap paper at a convening hosted by the Rhode Island Foundation.
The New England Public Policy Center (NEPPC) was established by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in January 2005. The Boston Fed has provided support to the public policy community of New England for many years; NEPPC institutionalizes and expands on this tradition.