The state’s unemployment rate ticked down in January, compared to the same month a year ago. The rate is now 6.5 percent; the state’s lowest since the start of the recession.
That’s down more than two percentage points since January of last year (when it stood at 8.6). It’s been seven years since the state’s unemployment rate has been this low, back in February of 2008. Despite the good news, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average, of 5.7 percent.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is poised next month to win his first full two-year term to what is considered the most powerful post in state government. The Cranston Democrat won a battle for the speakership last March following the resignation of his predecessor, Gordon Fox. Mattiello sat down in his Statehouse office this week to discuss his priorities for 2015 and a host of other issues.