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ERIC Number: ED564125
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 55
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
The Rhode Island Labor Market in Recovery: Where Is the Skills Gap? Current Policy Perspectives. No. 15-7
Burke, Mary A.
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
This paper assesses the extent to which Rhode Island's workforce lacks skills that are in demand among the state's current and potential employers and, if so, whether such a skills gap or labor market "mismatch" significantly restrains employment growth in the state. Using an index developed by Sahin et al. (2014), we find that occupational mismatch in Rhode Island increased leading up to and during the Great Recession and fell back to pre-recession levels by mid-2013. In 2015:Q2, occupational mismatch restrained quarterly employment growth in Rhode Island by an estimated 0.03 percentage points. However, since 2013 Rhode Island's employment growth rate has exceeded its long-run average, suggesting that the current extent of mismatch in the state is no greater than its long-run average level. Nonetheless, the share of Rhode Island-based jobs filled by out-of-state workers has increased significantly since 2001, a trend driven by jobs that employ college-educated workers. This evidence agrees with some Rhode Island employers' claims that they have trouble filling skilled jobs with Rhode Island resident workers. While this finding suggests that at the broader regional level, occupational mismatch is not a serious problem, regional welfare might yet be improved by training Rhode Island workers to fill such positions. An appendix presents: "Missed Hires Mismatch Index" (Basic and Adjusted).
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. P.O. Box 55882, Boston, MA 02205. Tel: 617-973-3000; Tel: 617-973-3397; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island