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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.

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Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in August was unchanged from July at 4.3 percent, while the number of employed state residents was down 100 from July, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Training.

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It’s Labor Day, the holiday celebrating working people. That got RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay thinking about unions, and the decline of organized labor in the private economy.  

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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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Rhode Island’s economy keeps chugging along, with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in May, which means the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment was below the national rate of 4.3 percent.

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An additional 100 full-time jobs are expected in the Ocean State by 2018. United Natural Foods Inc. announced their expansion plans, Wednesday.

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Organized labor has faced tough times in recent years as manufacturing has moved abroad, Republican governors and legislators have gone after public employee unions, and weak labor laws make union organizing more difficult.

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In response to Governor Gina Raimondo’s State of the State speech on Tuesday, Rhode Island members of the National Federation of Independent Business have penned a statement expressing frustration.

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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.

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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. 

  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.

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.

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.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged from February to March at 5.4 percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Training. The national unemployment rate is at 5.0 percent and neighboring Massachusetts is at 4.4 percent.

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