The Rhode Island Labor Market in Recovery: Where is the Skills Gap?
There has been much anecdotal evidence claiming that Rhode Island's labor force is unable to supply the skills that the state's employers seek. The anecdotal evidence has given rise to the concern that labor market mismatch is holding back the state's economic recovery. Such a concern comes with particularly high stakes in the case of Rhode Island, which suffered the most severe drop in employment in New England during the Great Recession and has endured the region's highest unemployment rate during the recovery. This paper conducts a data-driven analysis of several indicators of potential labor market mismatch in Rhode Island in order to ascertain whether the state does indeed suffer from a skills gap that significantly restrains employment growth.