3 Cities to Watch
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Rhode Island U. S.
Bill Conroy is editor in chief of Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ocean State’s unemployment rate has tracked above the national
rate dating back to the Great Recession. In fact, in 2009, when the national
unemployment rate peaked at 10 percent, Rhode Island reported an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent — and the state’s rate stayed at 10. 9 percent
or higher through March of 2012, according to labor statistics.
Forbes reported that the unemployment rate contributed to an exodus
of people from the state, with more people leaving Rhode Island than
moving to the state every year between 2005 and 2013. By 2015, however, the picture had improved, with Rhode Island posting the largest
decline in joblessness nationwide, as its unemployment rate that year
fell 1.7 percentage points, to 5. 3 percent. As of this past May, the state’s
unemployment rate was 4. 4 percent, compared with the national rate
of 3. 8 percent.
Rhode Island, as one of the original 13 colonies, has a plethora of historic
landmarks and cultural attractions, including a vibrant arts and restaurant
scene. The state also is home to some 100 beaches and hundreds of miles
of shoreline, and it boasts a vibrant sailing and yachting community.
The range of travel and leisure activities in the state support a thriving tourism industry that represents about 5 percent of Rhode Island’s
GDP and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, also accounts for
more than 58,000 jobs. A 2017 study commissioned by the Rhode Island
Commerce Department indicates that tax revenues generated by the
state’s tourism industry offset the average Rhode Island household’s tax
burden by $1,750 annually. In addition, according to the study, visitor
spending in Rhode Island has jumped by 21 percent since 2010, with
most of that growth seen in the lodging and recreation sectors.
This capital city of some 180,000 residents is one of the oldest communities in the nation and boasts an economy fueled by health care,
education, tourism and finance. With major employers such as Roger
Williams Medical Center, Citizens Financial Group, GTECH Corp. and
Brown University, Providence has positioned itself as a thriving New
England city with a small-town vibe. It is noted for its livable neighborhoods, top-notch hotels and restaurants, and a thriving arts community. Just south of Providence is Narragansett Bay, which is the heart of
the state’s defense and maritime industries.
Located on the banks of the Blackstone River just south of the Massachusetts state line, this city of some 41,000 is home to corporate giant
CVS Health Corp. Woonsocket’s access to water power gave rise to a
major textile-mill industry in the city in the 19th century. By the mid-
1800s, it was home to some 20 textile mills, most of which produced
cotton fabric. Today, the city features several attractions that pay homage to the city’s history as a major textile-manufacturing center, including the Museum of Work and Culture, which honors that history
and Woonsocket’s contributions to the nation’s labor movement.
This small city of 25,000 packs a big punch when it comes to tourism
and maritime activities. It is home to the famous Newport Jazz Festival
and also is one of the state’s leading tourist destinations, drawing some
3. 5 million tourists annually who come to take advantage of world-class sailing, shopping, dining and hotels. In fact, comedian Jay Leno
recently purchased four oceanside condominiums in the area for about
$13.5 million, according to city property records. The seaside city also
is home to U.S. Naval Station Newport, a major military installation that
is home to 50 Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army Reserve commands and service activities, including the Naval War College.
Sources: Boston Globe, City of Woonsocket, CNIC, Cushman & Wakefield, Forbes, History
Channel, Mansion Global, militarybases.com, National Association of Manufacturers,
Newport Buzz, Newport Jazz Festival, Newport This Week, Providence Journal, Rhode
Island Commerce Corp., Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island
House of Representatives, Rhode Island Public Radio, Rhody.com, U. S. Department of
Commerce, U. S. Department of Labor, U. S. News & World Report, Visit Rhode Island.