The good news is that Rhode Island’s unemployment rate continues to decline – dropping significantly in June to 7.9%. But Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is still nearly two points higher than the national rate of 6.1%. And Rhode Island is still tied for the state with the highest unemployment rate – tied now with Mississippi. There was some economic growth in RI -- the RI gross product increased 1.4% in 2013, earning it the 33rd spot in the nation.
But the Kaufmann Foundation gave RI a grade of F for small business friendliness and ranked Providence as one of the worst cities in the country for small business friendliness. We have work to do.