As I had noted in my original post, historically it has been very unusual for there to be more than a 1.5% difference (either more or less) between the unemployment rates if Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Recently though, we have seen a historically unusual spread between Rhode Island’s high rate and Massachusetts’ far lower rate.
In fact, the latest 3.2% spread still nearly exceeds ALL spreads seen in at least 40 years.
This indicates that either Rhode Island’s current rate would need to fall dramatically or the Massachusetts rate would need to increase sharply…. My sense, especially in light of the financial turmoil seen since September 2008, is that Mass will be continually playing catch-up.
The latest regional unemployment report shows that, in January, the Rhode Island unemployment rate stayed steady at 12.7% while the Massachusetts rate jumped to 9.5%.
Massachusetts is still experiencing large year-over-year increases to unemployment jumping 28.38% on a year-over-year basis continuing to indicate that Mass is slogging through a period of serious job weakness.