Ri unemployment

Aaron Read / RIPR

The latest Rhode Island job numbers are the usual mix of good and not-so-good.

While the rest of the country experienced strong job growth in October, Rhode Island did not. Total jobs were down 600 from the September number of 528,100. The long-beleaguered construction sector is finally picking up, adding 500 jobs in October, the largest gain in construction since April, 2006, when 700 jobs were added.

That was tamped down by declines in food services, government employment and manufacturing.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment dipped slightly in August, but the state’s recovery from the recession remains fragile, according to data released today by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent, still above the national rate of 5.1 percent. And the state lost 800 jobs between July and August. In July, the Ocean State unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

Aaron Read

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate  inched down to 5.9 percent in June, the lowest level since 2007, the state Department of Labor and Training has announced.

The rate has dropped 1.8 percentage points since June, 2014, when it was 7.7 percent.  The level in May was 6.0 percent. Rhode Island’s jobless rate is still above the national average, which was 5.3 percent in June, six-tenths of a percent lower than in the Ocean State.

In a statement, Gov. Gina Raimondo lamented that Rhode Island is not recovering from the recession as fast as the rest of the country.

Continuing the themes of her gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Gina Raimondo took office as Rhode Island’s first female governor this afternoon with a pledge to work diligently to improve the state’s struggling economy.

Raimondo, 43, a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard University graduate, projected optimism and a can-do attitude as she delivered her inaugural address under snow flurries and a January chill on the south steps of the State House.


Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is staging an economic policy summit with 80 so-called “thought leaders” Tuesday. The event is supposed to develop ideas for improving the state’s economy.

Raimondo’s transition office declined to release an advance list of the business people and other leaders invited to the event. They’ll take part in a three-hour discussion at URI’s Providence campus.  The governor-elect’s transition initially planned to close most of the meeting to the media. But the full session will now be open to reporters.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.

Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down again, from 7.9 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The 7.7 percent rate is the lowest level since June, 2008, according to figures compiled by the DLT.

The number of Rhode Island based jobs increased by 1,200 from June 2014 and 5,600 since June 2013.

The estimates for nonfarm payroll in the Ocean State was 477,800 in July, the highest number since September 2008.


Colleges, even state colleges, are too expensive and beyond the financial reach of some students. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst  Scott MacKay on why college is still a great investment, both for taxpayers and students.

Fast upon us 'tis season of Lilacs, caps and gowns and those desultory commencement speeches about life being a journey. For too many seniors these days, the sheepskin comes with an avalanche of student loan debt.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down to 8.7 percent in March, an improvement, but evidence that the state trails the region and most of the nation in economic activity.

The state Department of Labor and Training reports that new data shows the seasonally adjusted rate declined from 9 percent in February and is now at the lowest rate since September, 2008.

The number of Rhode Islanders who were working increased to 506,000 in March, a hike of 2,700 from February  statistics.

Don Boorman / RIPR

Every serious candidate says Rhode Island’s poor economy is the top issue in this year’s governors’ race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for Rhode Island to sort economic myth from reality.

Say hello to any of the five major candidates for governor and you’ll get a marathon run of rhetoric on the need to create jobs in our struggling state.  On the Republican side, Ken Block and Allan Fung have both talked about ushering in a better business climate, lowering taxes and looking for ways to save taxpayer money.

Unemployment Numbers Dip In Rhode Island

Dec 20, 2013

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate edged down slightly in November but still remains among the highest in the country.

Rhode Island’s jobless rate fell by two tenths of one percent in November -- from 9.2 percent to 9 percent.  That’s two percent higher than the national rate and the highest in New England.  Close to 50-thousand Rhode Islanders are actively looking for work.  And to make matters worse, long-term unemployment benefits end December 28th because of congressional inaction.

It seems sometimes like every Rhode Island business and political leader points to the better economy in Massachusetts. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looked across the state border and finds more myth than reality.