Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, September 2014: What RI Worry?

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Rhode Island was one of only 14 states to lose employment in September, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Unemployment in the Ocean State fell to its lowest level since June 2008 (7.6%), but the “improvement” of that metric continues to result from the fact that more people are giving up and leaving the labor force than are losing their jobs, each month.

The first chart below shows the large (and likely-to-be-revised-downward) increase in employment ...

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RI General Assembly 2014 Session Freedom Index

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RI General Assembly 2014 Session Freedom Index

Download: Freedom Index 2014 Scorecardlegislator votes, bill explanations, and rankings

Go to main Freedom Index page.

2014 Freedom Index Findings

Ninety-nine (99) different pieces of legislation (counting companion bills once) were evaluated.  The Center judged 76 of them as having a negative effect on freedom.

The average legislator index score of -49.4 indicates that the General Assembly moved Rhode Island in the wrong direction, and that Rhode Islanders are less free than they were in 2013. That result ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, August 2014: What Goes Up Comes Down

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Whether or not one believed the six-month boom in employment that government statistics proclaimed, the trend has turned around in Rhode Island.  The unemployment rate may have frozen at 7.7%, which is definitely an improvement over our nearly six years above 8%, but much of the credit goes to the large reduction in the labor force.

Even if fewer people are working, the unemployment rate goes down if an even larger number of people decide not to look for work.

The first chart below ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, July 2014: Job Trend Cools in Summer

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Whether or not there has been any tangible evidence, the statistics have suggested that Rhode Islanders’ job prospects boomed for the first six months of 2014.  The number of employed Rhode Islanders hit a ledge in July, but a state doesn’t lead the country in job growth without showing some gains relative to other states.

In the case of the Ocean State, it managed to slip its unemployment rate below those of the Southern states of Mississippi and Georgia.  For the ...

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Stenhouse – Constitutional Convention – Video Testimony & OpEd

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The Center’s CEO provides testimony & opinion about how a ConCon can be structured to best serve the people of Rhode Island and not the typical special interest insiders.

- Republished in the Providence Journal, 8/14/14 (click button above to read)StenProJoOpEdConCon

 

 

 

Stenhouse testimony at August 7, 2014 bi-partisan preparatory commission hearing … (click below)

Stenhouse testimony re. a ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, June 2014: Really Pushing Credulity

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You’ll never guess what Rhode Island’s unemployment rate did in June.  It went down again!  To 7.9%.

That’s still worst in the country (tied with Mississippi), but Rhode Island has now had its best six months of employment growth in recorded history.  For the past three months, the Ocean State has had the most employment growth (as a percentage) in the entire country.  It’s boom-time in the Ocean State, even if we’re still at the wrong side of just about every ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, May 2014: The Silent Boom

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Rhode Island’s unemployment rate moved down by a notch, rather than a leap, in May, to 8.2%.  However, the 2,659 newly employed Rhode Islanders, according to official Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures, lead the nation in terms of growth. The downsides of these numbers are that they’re simply difficult to believe and that, even if they’re accurate, the state’s employment situation is still abysmal.

The first chart below illustrates the first downside. If we believe the lines that the government ...

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House Budget Adopts 25% of Spotlight on $pending Recommendations

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But Leaves $168 Million of RI Taxpayer Dollars on the Table

 

The budget unveiled in the Rhode Island House Finance Committee, last week, showed a $13.3 million decrease in state spending, compared with the governor’s proposed budget.  Approximately $3.1 million of the reductions overlap with the Spotlight on $pending report that the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity released in March, after a review of the governor’s proposal.

Another $52.9 million in Spotlight on $pending suggestions were in the budget, but ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, April 2014: Increasingly Hard to Believe

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Rhode Island’s unemployment rate took another large leap downward, to 8.3%.  The bad news is that the same is true across most of the country, so the Ocean State is still last.  The worse news is that there still doesn’t seem to be much by way of alternative evidence of this boom.

The first chart below illustrates why some healthy skepticism continues to be in order. After many years of general stagnation, February through April 2014 arrive as a ...

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Managing a Phase-In of Major Sales Tax Reform

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The state budget is like a talisman that government officials and special interests raise to ward off the evil spirits of tax reform.  Anything that promises not to raise taxes, or at least not to be “revenue neutral,” is said to be entirely unworkable — destined to eliminate every valued program of government.  And when they’re really stuck, budget protectionists will claim that even a reform that they ought to support for every economic and humanitarian reason is impossible because the ...

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