Governor Gina Raimondo outlined a series of troubling indicators Wednesday to underscore her argument that adding jobs -- rather than cutting spending or raising taxes -- is the only way to heal Rhode Island's under-performing economy.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first Commerce secretary.
"Stefan Pryor has the depth of experience and the drive to help me lead Rhode Island's comeback," Raimondo said in a statement. "Stefan's economic development successes in Newark and in Lower Manhattan are a testament to his ability to lead the Department of Commerce in Rhode Island."
Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.
This week Dave and Mark talk with director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Charles Fogarty. They discuss new rules in place requiring the unemployed to place their resumes online, how to train and get people back to work and the state’s labor market.
When to Listen
You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.
Rhode Island’s jobless rate ticked up in December to land at 9.1 percent, that’s up from 9 percent in November.
During the late summer and fall, Rhode Island’s persistently high unemployment rate had been gradually ticking down. But the seasonally adjusted rate for December reverses that course, inching up one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.1 percent.
Numbers out of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training show there are more people working than originally thought.
The DLT compared quarterly tax data from employers with numbers out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics that are estimates based on survey sampling. The tax data show Rhode Island gained 6,500 jobs between September of 2012 and September of 2013. That’s double the number based on federal estimates.
Senator Jack Reed says he’s pleased a bill he co-sponsored to extend unemployment benefits for 90 days has moved forward in the Senate on a procedural vote. And he’d like to see it continue to move forward without having to negotiate how to pay for it. But Reed says he’s open on that point.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who has taken a leadership role in the democratic drive to renew long-term unemployment insurance benefits, has made a national call for Republicans to join the effort.
Reed was one of four Senate democrats who held a nationwide media conference call Sunday in an effort to break a congressional logjam over long-term unemployment insurance. The insurance expired last week when lawmakers failed to extend a recession-era law providing nearly a year of benefits after state jobless benefits run out.