economy

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave sit down with Sylvia Maxfield, dean of the Providence College School of Business.

Maxfield says lawmakers' quick passage of the budget sends a message that Rhode Island is serious about turning around the economy. She also discusses what makes her believe this budget is "pro jobs" and "pro business."

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss his efforts as lieutenant governor, legislation restricting charter schools, the PawSox and other issues.

Compromise Emerges On Minimum Wage Hike

May 27, 2015
Aaron Read / RIPR

Lawmakers in Rhode Island's House and Senate labor committees are considering a compromise this week that would increase the state's minimum wage.  But the proposed 60-cent wage hike is less than what some lawmakers had hoped to see. 

Currently, Rhode Island's minimum wage is $9 an hour. The original bill would have hiked the wage to $10.10 as of 2016.  The bill now calls for an increase to $9.60 per hour.

Day Donaldson / flickr

The Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is in Rhode Island today.  

She’s set to speak before some 750 people at the Providence Chamber of Commerce’s annual Economic Outlook Luncheon.

Yellen is the first woman in U.S. history to hold the top position at the Fed. Yellen has spent time in Rhode Island before; she graduated from Brown University with an economics degree in 1967.

Governor Gina Raimondo, Senator Jack Reed and University of Rhode Island President David Dooley are also set to speak at the lunch.

Aaron Read / RIPR

As of April 2015, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is 6.1 percent; the lowest since 2007. Over the past year, the total number of unemployed in Rhode Island dropped by more than 11,000.

That’s according to the latest numbers from the state Department of Labor and Training. The gain is significant for Rhode Island which maintained one of the highest unemployment rates in the country in recent years.  However, it’s still higher than the national average which hit 5.4 percent.   

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