economy

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.   

Photo Courtesy of the Coastal Resources Management Council

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected the University of Rhode Island (URI) to be one of two partners in its Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence.

URI is already working on a number of research and policy projects related to coastal resiliency, said Tom Miller, director of administration at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography. Miller said this partnership is an opportunity to broaden the university's reputation with the federal government when it comes to its expertise on coastal and climate issues.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Welders have started to build parts for a wind energy facility off the coast of Block Island. It’s on track to be the country’s first offshore wind farm.  State leaders were on hand for the start of construction today (Monday). Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza says they are calling it a great day for Rhode Island and the nation.

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