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Local Economy Struggles in Rhode Island

As the smallest state in the U.S., Rhode Island is currently facing their own economic meltdown.

According to the latest federal figures, Rhode Island faces a 10 percent unemployment rate, second to that of Michigan at 10.6 percent. As well as unemployment, Rhode Island facesthe highest foreclosure rates, widest budget gaps and most-vulnerable pension systems.

Some feel the problems facing Rhode Island can be attributed to the state's small size. Others feel it could be used as an asset. Either way, the state is working non-stop to find some economic relief.

“The whole political system is based on back scratching and getting things for your friends,” said Robert Whitcomb, editorial page editor of The Providence Journal. “That’s true for every place, but more so here because of the intimacy — you keep bumping into people you know.”

According to The New York Times, Rhode Island is less educated than the rest of the country which may be attributing to their poor economy. Many residents still focus on blue-collar industries such as lumber, service work and the automobile industry.

“In that way, we look more like a rust belt state than Connecticut or Massachusetts,” said Laura Hart, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Labor and Training in an interview with The New York Times.