RI economy

Today we celebrate the glorious history of the American labor movement. While unions have a storied past RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what the future holds.

Labor Day in Rhode Island has long been more than a summer’s end holiday. For decades, union leaders and their members have celebrated a movement that assimilated immigrants, fought vigorously for better pay and working conditions and was a fulcrum in the creation of a strong middle class.

Rhode Island’s economy ended the second quarter on a positive note, according to the latest Current Conditions Index.  The index is a monthly rating of the state’s economy based on a dozen key indicators.


Senator Jack Reed said he’s confident that Rhode Island will receive federal money meant to boost the state’s manufacturing sector.

Reed and the three other members of the congressional delegation took part Monday in a manufacturing forum at URI’s Providence campus. About 100 people attended the discussion.

Reed said the outlook is good for Rhode Island to get a preliminary grant of up to 200-thousand dollars to foster a strategy for adding manufacturing jobs.

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.

Some news for Rhode Island’s beleaguered economy: First quarter tax data shows that job growth in the Ocean State was better than estimated, with the state economy generating 1,700 more jobs that first indicted in the March, 2013 report from the state Dep0artment of Labor and Training.

The DLT says that the new data is based on employment information from the state’s 32,000 private sector employers. The new estimates suggest an over the year gain of 2,300 Rhode Island-based jobs.