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Economist: R.I. Needs Boost In Health,Education

An economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has told Rhode Island planners that boosting the growth of education and health care might be the best bet for higher employment.

Senior economist Mary Burke told Rhode Island's new Council of Economic Advisors on Friday that she questions whether trying to bring in more high-tech manufacturing is the answer for Rhode Island.

Burke noted the health care and education sector is the largest non-farm employer in Rhode Island, but hasn't made the recent growth seen in other New England states.

Burke also said Rhode Island's severe unemployment during the recent recession may have been fallout from a concentration of jobs in hardest-hit industries, and that Rhode Island goods have been in more direct competition with cheaper Chinese exports for two decades.

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