Strong Momentum

Rhode Island Is Growing Jobs—and Talent

Rhode Island is cultivating jobs at an impressive pace—the state’s unemployment rate is down to 4.1 percent, its lowest since 2000. And Rhode Island has added 21,000 more jobs in the past few years. The state has seen growth in multiple sectors; important industries such as biotech, advanced manufacturing, financial tech, clean energy and much more.

Some of the factors that have contributed to the state’s improved economy include:

Businesses coming in strong. Thirty businesses have moved in or expanded in Rhode Island. Its economic upswing was a large factor in Rhode Island’s stratospheric rise—from 33 up to No. 9 in Business Insider’s list of strongest state economies in 2018. The state actively seeks out creativity by emphasizing innovation with multiple initiatives, including the Innovation Voucher program, Industry Cluster Grants and its Innovation Campus.

Deep and wide talent pipeline. The value of a strong talent pipeline isn’t lost in Rhode Island. Top-notch universities such as Brown, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Rhode Island and more help to ensure that the talent pool runs deep. It recently became the fourth state in the nation to offer free community college study to residents. And it has created a program to relieve student loan burden for up to four years for qualified people who work in the state after they graduate.

Amazing quality of life. Rhode Island wants people to thrive in the state. The state’s work-life balance is unparalleled—in addition to its world-class academic institutions, it offers an eclectic culinary scene, fantastic microbreweries, amazing outdoor activities, historical sites, cultural institutions and so much more. Plus, it’s close to key metropolises Boston and New York City.

In Rhode Island, we develop young talent in STEM and cultivate a great quality of life that allows for a healthy work-life balance. The growing number of advanced-industry companies thriving in the state creates a perfect synergy for that talent to remain in the state to work, play and live.

Margaret Hartigan, co-founder and CEO of digital wealth management platform Marstone, had this to say about operating in Rhode Island: “There’s such a strong creative and artistic presence here, which means we can capture unexpected ideas and out-of-the-ordinary concepts that ensure we’re always on the cutting edge of our industry. But we also can get to Boston in under an hour if we need to, so we benefit from easy access to the financial center of the Northeast.”

These achievements have been possible because the state has strategically focused on both businesses and the people who keep those businesses running. Creating jobs for now while investing in the future—expanding skill sets so that the next generation will be prepared for the careers of tomorrow—is the strategy behind Rhode Island’s success.