URI economist likens COVID virus impact on resident employment to ‘falling off a cliff’

Media Contact: Dawn Bergantino, 401-874-4147 |

WHAT: Rhode Island’s overall Current Conditions Index (CCI) value fell to its lowest point in more than a decade in April. URI economist Leonard Lardaro says the drop to a CCI of 8 in April from its March value of 33, was “hopefully the absolute bottom for the U.S. and Rhode Island economies.” According to Lardaro, the state’s resident employment rate has fallen to levels not seen since the early 1980s. While he noted this was temporary and that the state should begin to see improvement in May, he stressed that the extent of this improvement may be limited due to structural deficiencies in the state economy that were not meaningfully addressed during the last recovery. Though no one could have seen this type of economic shock coming, says Lardaro, “Rhode Island has to reinvent its economy and adapt its economic policy making to the 21st century if it is to succeed in this new environment.”

WHO: URI Professor of Economics Leonard Lardaro, creator and author of the Current Conditions Index.

WHEN: June 11, 2020

HOW: Use attached information, including summary and charts prepared by Lardaro for news reports. He is available for broadcast and print interviews. Lardaro will be blogging about the new labor data during the coming weeks. Additional information and historical data available online: http://www.llardaro.com/current.htm.

FOR INFORMATION: Leonard Lardaro, office, 401-874-4128, home, 401-783-9563.

Dawn Bergantino, URI Department of Communications and Marketing, 401-874-4147.

BACKGROUND: The Current Conditions Index, created by Lardaro, measures the strength of the present economic climate in Rhode Island by following the behavior of 12 indicators.