(PROVIDENCE, RI) Governor Lincoln Chafee says the latest jobless data shows Rhode Island’s economy is on the mend. But the unemployment rate is still in double digits and still the highest in New England.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate went from 10.4 percent in November to 10.2 percent in December. But that’s not why the Governor called the news media to his office to trumpet the data. He’s energized by five key metrics used to calculate the jobless figure – all of which are moving in the right direction for only the second time in six years.
"Still these numbers are high but the trend is positive. And we’ve got to be careful here in Rhode Island now. Don’t fall into that gloomy cloud of negativity and take some good news and turn it negative. I mean this is positive. We’re going from 11.4 percent when I took office now down to 10.2 percent. The trend is positive."
Chafee says the declining unemployment figures coupled with rising tax revenues makes him optimistic about the future.
"When we see these revenue numbers still coming in strong that means as I said – income tax and sales tax.
So the unemployment numbers should be tracking the same way and now that’s occurring so I’m confident and if we stay on this track I’m confident that we’re going to get into the single digits and down where we should be."
Chafee says a growing number of employed Rhode Island residents, a growing Rhode Island labor force, and an increase in the number of jobs based in Rhode Island all point to a brighter future.
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