Governor Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the failure of the once-heralded startup Nabsys; challenges at the state Department of Transportation; the outlook for her toll proposal; the new state unemployment numbers; and much more.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate ticked down again in May from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent. The economy gained 3,400 jobs.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

New graduates receive diplomas this weekend at the University of Rhode Island. Like grads across the state, they enter a job market showing signs of recovery. But Rhode Island still suffers from one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.

As we continue our series Rising Tide, looking at whether Rhode Island is emerging from the Great Recession, Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison checks in with college students to find out how they view the future.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line. 

This week Dave and Mark chat with Amber Caulkins, program director of the College and University Research Collaborative.

The group has completed a new study of Rhode Island's unemployment rate, which focuses on the loss of manufacturing jobs, education in the workforce and the length of unemployment benefits.

When to Listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo outlined a series of troubling indicators Wednesday to underscore her argument that adding jobs -- rather than cutting spending or raising taxes -- is the only way to heal Rhode Island's under-performing economy.

via WNPR

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first Commerce secretary.

"Stefan Pryor has the depth of experience and the drive to help me lead Rhode Island's comeback," Raimondo said in a statement. "Stefan's economic development successes in Newark and in Lower Manhattan are a testament to his ability to lead the Department of Commerce in Rhode Island."

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Charles Fogarty. They discuss new rules in place requiring the unemployed to place their resumes online, how to train and get people back to work and the state’s labor market.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Starting Monday the Department of Labor and Training is expanding the hours of its call center handling unemployment insurance.

The DLT call center used to take calls for two full days and three half days, but now it will take calls every weekday except Wednesday, said Assistant Director, Bob Langlais.

“We thought it was better for customer service we be open four full days, we won’t be any half days,” said Langlais, “and then they’ll have a full day for our staff to do their back office.”

file / RIPR

Rhode Island’s jobless rate ticked up in December to land at 9.1 percent, that’s up from 9 percent in November.

During the late summer and fall, Rhode Island’s persistently high unemployment rate had been gradually ticking down. But the seasonally adjusted rate for December reverses that course, inching up one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.1 percent. 


Political and business leaders are meeting in a couple events Tuesday looking at how to rev up the state’s economy.

The first event is a roundtable centered on the national issues, such as patents, facing the state’s innovation industry, and how this industry can help boost Rhode Island’s struggling economy.

Both Senator Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse will attend the roundtable, along with Congressman David Cicilline.

Numbers out of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training show there are more people working than originally thought.

The DLT compared quarterly tax data from employers with numbers out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics that are estimates based on survey sampling. The tax data show Rhode Island gained 6,500 jobs between September of 2012 and September of 2013. That’s double the number based on federal estimates. 

Flo Jonic

Senator Jack Reed says he’s pleased a bill he co-sponsored to extend unemployment benefits for 90 days has moved forward in the Senate on a procedural vote. And he’d like to see it continue to move forward without having to negotiate how to pay for it. But Reed says he’s open on that point.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who has taken a leadership role in the democratic drive to renew long-term unemployment insurance benefits, has made a national call for Republicans to join the effort.

Reed was one of four Senate democrats who held a nationwide media conference call Sunday in an effort to break a congressional logjam over long-term unemployment insurance. The insurance expired last week when lawmakers failed to extend a recession-era law providing nearly a year of benefits after state jobless benefits run out.


Making ends meet is about to get harder for thousands of Rhode Island families who will lose their unemployment benefits Saturday.  Those taking the hit are the long-term unemployed.

Congressional failure to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will result in the loss of benefits to 1.3 million Americans starting tomorrow. In Rhode Island, six thousand long-term unemployed individuals will lose their weekly checks. In the first six months of 2014 another nine thousand will join their ranks.

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.