Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor recently summarized the state’s progress in attracting new high-tech, high-wage businesses and helping small business expand (“R.I. is booming under new policies,” Commentary, Dec. 9).
The numbers support his assertion that the Rhode Island economy is “growing ever stronger.” Employment levels in Rhode Island are now comparable to 2008, a full recovery from the Great Recession job losses. Rhode Island’s gross domestic product, a measure of the market value of goods and services produced, is improving faster than that of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Florida and California.
Can these improvements be sustained long-term? A key to future economic growth is having a labor force with the knowledge and skills to fill new jobs being created and replace workers who are retiring. While the Governor Raimondo’s economic policies appear to be working, comparable improvements in the state’s education system are still needed.