economy

URI Prof: Signs Show an Improving RI Economy

Sep 16, 2013

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.

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.

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.

Bottom Line:

Aug 16, 2013

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.

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.

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:

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.

RI Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.8 Percent

May 16, 2013

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.

Rhode Island Nonprofits Feel the Squeeze

Apr 16, 2013
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.

As Rhode Island tries to overcome high unemployment, some observers argue that more urgent steps are needed to spark the economy. One of the groups making that argument is a free-market think tank, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. The center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, stopped by our studio to talk about a proposal to eliminate the sales tax and other issues.


Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

The Boston Globe reported Monday that the Canadian government has established a business accelerator program in Cambridge to help its ``most promising young start-ups tap into the expertise and energy of the growing innovation economy around MIT and, ideally return home with new customers, connections and ideas.’’

As anyone with a pulse is aware, the area around Kendall Square in Cambridge has evolved over the past two decades from a seen-better-days warehouse and manufacturing district into an innovation lodestone.

Rhode Island State House
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The leadership of the state Senate Tuesday unveiled a legislative package of 25 bills meant to improve Rhode Island’s economy.

Heartening News for Rhode Island Economy

Mar 13, 2013
Downtown Providence RI
Catherine Welch / RIPR

Two new reports suggest Rhode Island’s economy is on the rebound. 

The fight for fiscal stability in Woonsocket and mixed news on Rhode Island's economy. That’s part of the discussion this week on Political Roundtable with guest Woonsocket City Council President John Ward.

Saul Kaplan, head of the Business Innovation Factory, says Rhode Island has the necessary assets for a thriving economy. Part of the challenge, he says, is transforming the state's small size from an obstacle into a benefit.

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