Young Rhode Islanders are consistently forced to move out of Rhode Island, in search of better economic climates where we can begin our careers. This trend is not only true for the youth. Simply put, due to economic decline, Rhode Island’s population is shrinking. And it has been shrinking for years.

Financial woes are at the forefront of many of the state’s problems. With a population estimated at only slightly over one million, the labor force currently stands at 570,600 people. Of this number, only 498,133 are currently employed; the resulting unemployment rate, 12.7%, is consistently recognized as one of the worst in the country.

>> New Ideas for a Better Rhode Island

RiThought sees the need for immediate action in the fields of the economy and employment in Rhode Island.

To improve the economy, RiThought further supports the expansion and existence of the Ocean State’s technology related industries. These industries are ideal for Rhode Island developing and sustaining a dynamic, growing community for young, engaged, educated workers. In regards to credit, RiThought believes that access to credit for promising small businesses needs to be easier if this significant segment of our state’s economy is to remain vibrant. RiThought therefore encourages the Rhode Island government to take a more active role in the loan process to ensure this access. RiThought also would like to encourage young Rhode Islanders to take an clear-eyed look at Rhode Island’s manufacturing sector, and consider what it would take to expand it.

>> Executive Summary

  1. RiThought greatly appreciates the services, research, support and dedication of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. RiThought encourages young Rhode Islanders to explore the resources provided by RIEDC, and to particularly consider the Corporation’s annual Economic Growth Plan.
  2. RiThought would like to recommend exploring two different groups in regards to expanding the Ocean State’s tech-based industry. The first group is the Providence Geeks, a group of digital innovators who connect, collaborate, and strive to make the Providence-area a leader in information technology.
  3. If Rhode Island wishes to remain an active manufacturing center it may need to follow the trend of becoming less supportive to unions, perhaps even going so far as to declare itself “Right-to-Work”.
  4. RiThought encourages the state government to take a more active role in ensuring that small businesses, the lynchpin of Rhode Island’s economy, have greater access to credit.

>> Read the Report Here

Follow our complete analysis in our Jobs & Economy: RiThought