Providence, Rhode Island has a fairly high cost of living compared to the national average, but looks affordable compared to the state's average. With an index number of 118, the overall cost of living is 18 percent higher than the nation's and five percent lower than the state's.
People in Providence can expect to spend significantly more than the national average on goods and services, utilities, and health care. Housing, which is 14 percent higher than the national average, is 17 percent lower than the state average. This makes Providence a fairly affordable place to buy or rent a home.
Even though Providence has a lower cost of living than Rhode Island overall, the median household income from 2009 to 2013 was $56,361, more than $3,000 higher than the state's median.
Providence, Rhode Island Job Opportunities
Health care and education play important roles in Providence's economies. Brown University is one of the city's largest employers, in addition to Johnson & Wales University. Hospitals, however, employ more people than local colleges. The high number of health care jobs in Providence could make this part of Rhode Island a good option for nurses and doctors.
Providence also has a large number of information technology jobs, thanks to companies like Verizon and Mars 2000. Professionals with backgrounds in information science, computer programming, and engineering may want to pursue careers with these companies and similar corporations.
Providence, Rhode Island Employment Trends
Providence suffered significant unemployment during the Great Recession. From 2007 to 2009, the employment rate rose from about five percent to over 11 percent. That rate has slowly fallen in recent years, indicating that the area is still recovering. In April 2015, Providence's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent, which is just slightly higher than the pre-recession rate.
The state has recovered somewhat faster than Providence. In April 2015, it had a 6.1 percent unemployment rate.