Updated June 30 at 8:45am

Report: R.I. manufacturing, logistics earn low marks

Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry received poor marks relative to others in the U.S. in the 2014 Manufacturing and Logistics Report released on June 11 by Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

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Report: R.I. manufacturing, logistics earn low marks

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PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry received poor marks relative to others in the U.S. in the 2014 Manufacturing and Logistics Report released on June 11 by Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

The study, prepared on behalf of the Conexus Indiana manufacturing industry initiative, showed how each state ranked among its peers in areas of the economy that underlie the manufacturing and logistics industries, including human capital availability, the cost of worker benefits, industry diversification, state-level productivity and innovation, expected fiscal liability, state tax climate and global reach.

Rhode Island received a grade of “D” for overall health of its manufacturing industry, based on the share of total income earned by manufacturing employees in Rhode Island, the wage premium paid to manufacturing workers relative to other states’ employees, and the share of manufacturing employment per capita.

Using the same criteria to grade Rhode Island’s logistics industry, the CBER gave the state an “F” for logistics industry health.

According to archived CBER data, Rhode Island’s manufacturing and logistics industries have shown no significant improvement in the Manufacturing and Logistics Report since 2009, and its human capital score dropped from “B” in 2009 to “C-” in 2014.

CBER Director Michael Hicks said the below-average human capital score could mean weak manufacturing growth in the coming decade.

Human capital measures evaluated to produce the rating included high school and collegiate education rates, first-year retention rate of adults in community and technical colleges, number of associates degrees awarded annually per capita, and share of adults enrolled in adult basic education.

The only measure analyzed in the report for which Rhode Island demonstrated a full-grade improvement since 2009 was the state’s expected fiscal liability gap, based on unfunded liability per capita, unfunded liability percentage of GDP, average benefits and bond rankings. Rhode Island scored a “D” for its expected liability gap in 2014, up from “F” in 2012.

The complete list of Rhode Island’s grades in the 2014 Manufacturing and Logistics Report is as follows:

  • Manufacturing: D

  • Logistics: F

  • Human Capital: C-

  • Worker Benefit Costs: D

  • Tax Climate: F

  • Expected Liability Gap: D

  • Global Reach: F

  • Sector Diversification: B

  • Productivity and Innovation: D

To view Rhode Island’s grades for 2014 and previous years, visit conexus.cberdata.org/state/RI.

To read the national CBER report, visit projects.cberdata.org.

Rhode Island manufacturing, Ball State University, Center for Business and Economic Research, 2014 Manufacturing and Logistics Report, Conexus Indiana, Rhode Island logistics, Michael Hicks,

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