As Rhode Island servicemen and women return from the front lines, state officials are searching for better ways to make sure they have the jobs, education and the health services they need to integrate back into civilian life. A new report out of the state senate urges the state to do a better job connecting veterans with jobs and services.

The state counts more than 70,000 veterans living in Rhode Island, and unemployment numbers show they have a higher rate of joblessness than their civilian counterparts.  

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training says it is bringing back eleven previously laid off employees to help with the unemployment insurance call center. 

Jobless Rhode Islanders have had to wait for hours, and in some cases days, to get a call through.  The problem started in July when the Department was forced to lay off a third of its staffers due to reduced federal funding.  

RI employment picture improving

Jan 18, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI)  Governor Lincoln Chafee says the latest jobless data shows Rhode Island’s economy is on the mend.  But the unemployment rate is still in double digits and still the highest in New England.

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate went from 10.4 percent in November to 10.2 percent in December.  But that’s not why the Governor called the news media to his office to  trumpet the data.  He’s energized by five key metrics used to calculate the jobless figure – all of which are moving in the right direction for only the second time in six years.

DLT says some data may have been compromised

Jan 1, 2013

The State Department of Labor and Training says a malfunctioning telephone system may have allowed the unauthorized sharing of some clients’ personal information, including social security numbers. The problem happened Christmas Eve. A departmental review shows up to 700 people’s information may have been compromised. The department is notifying all customers who may have been impacted and is providing them with free credit monitoring services for three months.

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As high unemployment continues to plague Rhode Island, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says her chamber will focus in the 2013 session on economic development and trying to turn around the state's troubled economy.