RI economy

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island politics is once again enveloped in the economic rating game. Some national rankings show the state’s economy to be doing well, while others don’t. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay is skeptical of all the rankings, ratings and lists.

The CNBC business network recently ranked Rhode Island at 45 out of 50 on its 2018 list of the top states for business. Business Insider's web site put Rhode Island much higher, stating it has the ninth best business climate in the country.

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Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor joins Political Roundtable to discuss Deepwater Wind's expansion plan, the latest PawSox proposal, and the state of the Ocean State economy.

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The Rhode Island economy is sure to be a crucial topic in the state’s 2018 political campaigns. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay says there is improvement, but the Ocean State is still a long way from flourishing.

RIPR file photo

The Rhode Island governors’ race is getting underway. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the campaign’s negative start doesn’t bode well for voters seeking a serious discussion of state issues.


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Rhode Island has been hit with some disappointing economic news lately. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says things can be turned around by partnering, rather than competing, with Massachusetts.

The death of Rhode Island labor leader Frank Montanaro Sr. reminded former Gov. Lincoln Almond of Montanaro’s crucial role in helping to get the Fidelity Investments building in Smithfield done in the 1990s without a labor-management dust-up that could have killed the project.

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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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Economic inequity has become a touchstone of our times. This week, NPR and the University of Rhode Island both kickoff dialogues on income inequality.

Last week brought a glimmer of good economic news to a state and nation that have grown all too used to doom and doldrums. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

  Rhode Island’s unemployment rate held steady in July as the state’s economy added about 1,400 jobs, according to the latest data from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

The numbers show that the state’s economy is growing slowly, picking up jobs, but not yet adding all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession.  Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is above the national rate of 4.9 percent and significantly higher than the Massachusetts rate of 4.1 percent. The Bay State added about 7,300 jobs in July.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s economy remains in the doldrums. That’s the takeaway from the latest unemployment and jobs data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Training

The state’s jobless rate inched up from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent in June.  The good news is that the state gained 1,700 jobs. The bad news is that job growth remains sluggish, with a decline of 100 jobs in the first six months  of 2016.

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If you’re wealthy, you may see the British exit from Europe’s economy as an opportunity. 

There is much to like in what appears to be a reasonable Rhode Island House budget proposal  for the state fiscal year that begins on July 1st. There were goodies for business, beach-goers, retirees on pensions and small business.

But one neglected area is those who work long hours at minimum wage jobs. The budget does modestly increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps working families, but it does not raise the minimum wage.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

General Electric is slated to bring hundreds of jobs to Rhode Island for a new GE digital information technology center, starting with 100 in the near future.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island has yet another study on what ails our state’s economy, this time from the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what it will take to translate this plan into action.

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