RI’s Real Business Ranking - a Look at All the Rankings
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
A review conducted by the Hassenfeld Institute at Bryant University finds that the individual rankings range widely, but overall Rhode Island ranks towards the bottom for business.
"Americans are obsessed with rankings. We have an unquenchable thirst to understand who is up and who is down. As a nation, we are bombarded with stories ranking everything from the best schools and the best places to retire to the best states in which to do business. When a state consistently ranks near the top or the bottom, the effect on public perception can take on a life of its own," said the report from the Hassenfeld Institute.
"Rhode Island continues to make good progress on key economic indicators and in a variety of ranking systems. On this year’s CNBC survey we improved in half of the categories (5 out of 10) including ranking 15th best in the nation for our workforce (up from 27th last year). On the ranking of our economy we continue to improve, up one spot to 28th this year and our quality of life ranking improved by four spots," RI Commerce Corporation's Matt Sheaff told GoLocal.
Governor Gina Raimondo's office told GoLocal, "There are more jobs in Rhode Island today than ever before and the unemployment rate has been cut by one-third since Governor Raimondo was sworn in. Every ranking uses a different methodology."
Why Rankings Can Matter:
The Rhode Island General Assembly once appointed a task force to try and improve the state's ranking -- the initiative has had little effect. While Massachusett continues to move up in most of the studies - Rhode Island continues to lag the rest of the country and, in general, with Maine trail the rest of New England.
"Rankings can be useful in highlighting trends and prompting policymakers to work on significant challenges facing the state and municipalities. They can also be wielded irresponsibly to score political points. It falls upon public leaders, journalists, educators and concerned citizens to use these studies with care and to understand the factors driving each ranking," said the report from the Hassenfeld Institute.
The study concludes, "For decades, there has been a perception that Rhode Island’s business climate has been a disincentive to investment. While much must be done to create good jobs and an environment where businesses can flourish, it’s not accurate to say that Rhode Island always ranks at or near the bottom in business rankings."
EDITOR'S NOTE - This is based on 2017. The 2018 CNBC was released last week and there was no material change for RI - it is still ranked #45.
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