RI Unemployment, Pre- and Post-Recession
As of the spring of 2015, Rhode Island's economy had yet to fully recover in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Although the unemployment rate is falling, it remains higher than the national level. Moreover, the falling rate is not entirely due to a recovering economy.
The official measure of unemployment is based on a "labor force" that only includes the unemployed who are still actively seeking work. Because Rhode Island's labor force has lost over 20,000 people since its peak in 2007, the unemployment rate appears lower than if the size of the labor force had remained steady.