This report, “The State of Working Rhode Island: Workers of Color”, highlights the many challenges facing Rhode Island workers, showing the many areas where workers of color fare less well than others. The accompanying Policy Recommendations document shows that there are policy solutions within our grasp that can shift economic trends that have been holding Rhode Island families back.
Although Rhode Island’s overall economy continues to slowly but steadily recover from the Great Recession, workers of color—particularly Rhode Island’s Latino community— continue to bear the brunt of a vulnerable economy. Some of these economic hardships reflect the lingering effects of the Great Recession – a recession that has left the state with over ten thousand fewer jobs today than at the onset of the recession, relative to the state’s current population. Other effects reflect long-standing systemic barriers facing the Ocean State’s minority populations that have impeded their educational attainment, and have consistently resulted in higher levels of unemployment and lower wages.