Rhode Island’s politicians are talking about the economy again. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay warns of a campaign cliché voters ought to view with skepticism
As predictable as the turning of autumn leaves, Rhode Island’s political campaigns will once again be filled with talk about creating jobs and jump-starting our stalled economy. Expect to hear the ancient Ocean State chestnut from the pols who’ll say, the biggest economic fear of Rhode Islanders is that their children can’t stay in our state because there aren’t enough jobs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.