There’s an interesting article in the Star-Telegram about the rising unemployment rate in Rhode Island which is currently at 9.3 percent. This state is a warning for Dallas-Fort Worth, because what we are experiencing in this current crisis is a shift in what industries will be profitable–hiring employees and expanding, and which industries will die-off completely or significantly.

The article says:

Jobs are painfully lacking in Rhode Island, where unemployment stood at 9.3 percent in November… To the dismay of state leaders, this tiny state has persistently been a leader in joblessness… Rhode Island has been hurt by the same ills hammering the rest of the nation: falling housing prices, mortgage defaults and the credit crisis. But a combination of unique factors has deepened the pain. Long dependent on the shrinking manufacturing sector, Rhode Island never found a replacement as nearby states courted biotech and computing firms.

Dallas-Fort Worth leaders must be prepared to retrain all of these unemployed residents who once worked in the real estate industry and its related industries such as mortgage lending. In the coming years, there is not going to be the same high demand for workers in these fields.

Dallas-Fort Worth leaders need to begin looking at the next boom, the next industry that will be profitable and train unemployed workers for these industries. If Dallas-Fort Worth does not take action now to retrain workers who have experienced job losses in real estate and its related industries, we may face unemployment numbers in the double digits.

As worker Larry Miller said in the Star-Telegram article: “Someone in this state needs to be proactive,” Miller said. “Without jobs, this country’s nothing.”