economy

RIPR News
2:45 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Census Finds RI has Highest Poverty Rate in New England

The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data contain mixed signals about the state of Rhode Island’s economy.   The median income climbed by double digits but the state still has the highest poverty rate in the region.

While Rhode Island’s median household income climbed 14 percent from 2011 to 2012, the state remained stuck with the highest poverty rate in New England. Thirteen-point-six percent of all residents are living below the federal poverty level. Second is Maine at 12.8 percent.

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Business
3:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

URI Prof: Signs Show an Improving RI Economy

A University of Rhode Island economics professor who tracks the state’s economy every month finds it was in good shape for the month of July.

Professor Leonard Lardaro says nine of 12 indicators he tracks are in positive territory.  The only lagging indicators are government employment, the size of the labor force and new claims for unemployment.

Overall, Lardaro said we’re heading into the second half of the year in a fairly strong position.

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Politics
9:38 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Division of Taxation Hands Out Historic Tax Credits

Using a lottery system, the Division of Taxation handed out 31 Historic Tax credits.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation held a drawing Tuesday to award just $35 million in state historic tax credits.  The General Assembly voted earlier this year to reopen the historic tax credit program.

The Division of Taxation used a drawing to pick who would get the tax credits since demand outstripped supply. State Tax Administrator David Sullivan says the recipients comprise a variety of projects expected to boost the economy.

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Business
3:07 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Providence’s Old Arcade is Filling Up With New Tenants

The Arcade, built in 1828, is thought to be the oldest indoor mall in the U.S. It is currently undergoing $7 million in renovations.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

The owners of the Providence Arcade, the nation’s oldest indoor shopping mall, have announced some new tenants.  They include two restaurants and a women’s clothing boutique.

The largest restaurant space in the Arcade has been rented by an eatery called Rogue Island. It will specialize in local food and beer.  Also joining the Arcade business group is Livi’s Pockets a purveyor of fast Mediterranean food.

Rounding out the list of new tenants is a shop called Nude, which will feature the women’s clothing and handbags of six New England designers.

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Business
6:00 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Bottom Line:

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg. They discuss the new campaign to market Rhode Island’s strengths; called “It’s All in Your Back Yard,” along with public reaction to the campaign.

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RI News
8:22 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Despite National Trend Unemployment Persists in Rhode Island

Despite national trends showing unemployment trending downwards, Rhode Island's unemployment increased one-tenth of a percent in July.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s jobless rate edged up slightly in July, from 8.8 percent to 8.9 percent.  It’s a source of frustration for state Labor Department officials who concede that at the current rate it will take several years for Rhode Island to get anywhere close to full employment.

Led by a sharp drop in the number of temporary jobs, Rhode Island’s jobless rate posted a one-tenth of one percent increase in July. Still, the 8.9 percent rate is 1.6 percent lower than a year ago.

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Arts & Culture
8:20 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Made In Rhode Island: Jewelry Making, An Industry On The Move

Patrick McMillan of Providence makes custom jewelry in his basement workshop.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

There's a commonly held misconception in Rhode Island that the jewelry industry is washed up, kaput, a victim of the ravaged manufacturing sector. But according to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, we have the highest concentration of jobs in the jewelry industry in the United States. This morning as we continue our 'Made in Rhode Island' series, Rhode Island Public Radio's Flo Jonic delves into the jewelry industry through the eyes of three of its players:

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RI Economy
4:01 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

RI Unemployment Rate: Not Falling, but Not Climbing Either

Rhode Island unemployment rate held steady in June.
Credit file / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate remained flat in June at 8.9 percent. Progress made in reducing the jobless rate in the first quarter of the year seems to have stalled.

The news was great in the first quarter of the year.  Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent in January to 9.4 percent in February, to 9.1 percent in March.  In April, it fell to 8.8 percent. That’s about where it has remained ever since.

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Rhode Island Economy
3:55 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

RI Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.8 Percent

Rhode Island's unemployment rate spent more than three years in double digits.

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate took a healthy drop in April.  But the state is still a long way from restoring all the jobs lost to the recession.

Rhode Island’s April unemployment rate was 8.8 percent. That’s three tenths of one percent lower than in March and the lowest rate in four-and-a-half years.  Charles Fogarty, director of the state Department of Labor and Training, attributes the decline to increased consumer confidence.

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Local Features
7:41 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Rhode Island Nonprofits Feel the Squeeze

Harrington Hall, the state's largest homeless shelter, has been struggling under reduced finding an increased demand for service.
Credit Flo Jonic/RIPR

It’s hard to turn on the news these days without hearing about another nonprofit in financial trouble.  Advent House – the state’s first homeless shelter – is without a director because it can’t afford one. John Hope Settlement House is bleeding $30,000 a month. And the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence has laid off a third of its staff.

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