RI Department of Labor and Training

Pharmaceutical company Alexion announced Tuesday it will close its plant in Smithfield, taking 250 jobs with it. 

The Smithfield site made a drug known as Solaris, which can treat two genetic disorders, including a rare blood disease. But Alexion CEO Ludwig Hantson said the manufacturing facility does not fit company’s plans for the upcoming launch of new medicines.

RIPR File Photo

The latest Rhode Island unemployment data shows anemic job growth, with the unemployment rate inching up to 4.2 percent, which is slightly less than the national rate of 4.4 percent.

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Social media continues its creep into every area of life. Once again, a Facebook post has become an issue in a Rhode Island lawsuit that has reached the Rhode Island Supreme Court, which has reinstated the unemployment benefits of a worker fired because of a social media post.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Another month, another poor jobs report in Rhode Island. The September unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent, but Rhode Island-based jobs were down 900 from August, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Training.

The data show job losses in educational services, health care and social assistance, ambulatory health care services and government and professional services.  There were also smaller job declines in manufacturing, information and transportation and utilities.

  In bad news for the Rhode Island economy, the unemployment rate inched up to 5.6 percent in August  from 5.5 percent in July and the Ocean State-based jobs dropped by 700, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The state jobless rate was higher than the national unemployment rate, which stood at 4.9 percent. The DLT also said the data shows that the July job losses, the state has about 5,800 more jobs than at this time last year.

About 700 unionized Rhode Island Verizon workers involved in a labor dispute with the company have been ruled eligible for unemployment compensation by Scott Jensen, director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

In a decision mailed to workers and Verizon officials yesterday, Jensen ruled that the labor dispute is a lockout by the company, rather than a strike. Rhode Island has not allowed strikers to collect unemployment benefits since the 1980s, but workers involved in lockouts are eligible to collect, according to Michael Healey, DLT Spokesman.

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s recent roll out of more than $4 million in job training grants to a bevy of Rhode Island agencies likely includes some money that may end up training Connecticut workers, RIPR has learned.

Aaron Read / RIPR

The latest Rhode Island job numbers are the usual mix of good and not-so-good.

While the rest of the country experienced strong job growth in October, Rhode Island did not. Total jobs were down 600 from the September number of 528,100. The long-beleaguered construction sector is finally picking up, adding 500 jobs in October, the largest gain in construction since April, 2006, when 700 jobs were added.

That was tamped down by declines in food services, government employment and manufacturing.

Aaron Read

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in September, down from 5.7 percent in August and 7.2 percent a year earlier, according to new numbers from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

The drop came as the national unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed that 1,300 fewer  Rhode Island residents were actively seeking work in September, compared with August. The number is down by more than 9,000 since this time a year ago.  

RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, in a continuing crackdown on workplace wage fraud, has announced that it has ordered an East Providence construction company to pay more than $300,000 in civil penalties, back wages and interest for fraudulently filling out weekly payroll records and wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have once again cast a cloud over the Rhode Island Statehouse. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders when Rhode Islanders will finally be fed up enough to bring change to Smith Hill.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment dipped slightly in August, but the state’s recovery from the recession remains fragile, according to data released today by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent, still above the national rate of 5.1 percent. And the state lost 800 jobs between July and August. In July, the Ocean State unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

RIPR file photo

Cardoso Construction has agreed to pay more than $730,000 to settle allegations from the State Department of Labor and Training.

Gov. Gina Raimondo is establishing a "RI Pay Equity Tip Line"  so that Rhode Islanders can report employers who violate the state law that bans gender-based wage discrimination.

The tip line, at 401-462-9243, is run by the state Department of Labor and Training. DLT is the agency that enforces labor laws and investigates wage complaints and hiring discrimination.

"In Rhode Island we want to make sure work pays," said Raimondo in a news release. "Ensuring paycheck fairness is important for women, it creates opportunities for families, and it strengthens the economy."

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down again, from 7.9 percent in June to 7.7 percent in July, according to data released today by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The 7.7 percent rate is the lowest level since June, 2008, according to figures compiled by the DLT.

The number of Rhode Island based jobs increased by 1,200 from June 2014 and 5,600 since June 2013.

The estimates for nonfarm payroll in the Ocean State was 477,800 in July, the highest number since September 2008.

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