State of the Rhode Island Economy
RI Report has compiled the most recent information on the overall economic picture in Rhode Island, including an update on Governor Donald Carcieri’s much publicized campaign promise to create 20,000 new jobs…
Governor Carcieri declared victory on his pledge to add an additional 20,000 new jobs to the Rhode Island economy yesterday.…and a link to a Providence Business News article on URI Professor Leonard Lardaro’s latest economic forecast for the state Rhode Island…
Citing the monthly jobs report released yesterday by the state Department of Labor & Training (DLT) Carcieri said that there is now a record-high level of jobs in the Ocean State.
The report from the DLT on the state’s employment figures showed 499,100 jobs in Rhode Island last month — a record number of jobs for the state. This figure represents 800 new jobs from the previous month, 3,200 new jobs since the beginning of the year, and 5,400 new jobs added in the past 12 months.
According to statistics compiled by the DLT, since more than 20,000 new jobs have been created in Rhode Island since Carcieri took office in January 2003.
The Ocean State’s health took a U-turn for the better in May, according to University of Rhode Island economist Leonard Lardaro. His Current Conditions Index registered 67 in May, a large increase from April’s 42 and well above the 33 reading in May 2006 (a reading of 50 is considered neutral)….UPDATE:
The unemployment rate in May fell to 4.8 percent when compared with May 2006, even as the labor force grew 0.2 percent – May’s rate, however, was higher than April’s 4.5-percent unemployment. Retail sales showed the highest level of activity since December, while consumer confidence rebounded from three months of declines….
If there were a cloud on the horizon, it was the fact that unemployment benefit exhaustions increased by 9.3 percent, indicating that there was significant long-term unemployment, while new claims for unemployment insurance, which measures layoffs, increase 3.9 percent.
According to Ian Donnis of the Providence Phoenix’s Not for Nothin’ Blog, Steve Laffey, possible Republican candidate for Governor in 2010, is also concerned about the long-term trends affecting Rhode Island’s economy…
The high-profile former mayor predicted that Rhode Island will be in worse economic shape in 2009 than when he assumed the reins in Cranston. While the Carcieri administration touts new job-creation numbers, Laffey points to an outflow of RI residents and says the state economy is deeply troubled.
When I followed up on this remark, asking why the Republican governors who have mostly held office for the last 20 years haven’t been able, even with the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, to implement a different economic program, Laffey agreed that responsibility has to go to the chief executive. He declined to assign a letter grade to Carcieri’s performance, but said the governor introduced a “bad” budget that was made worse by legislative Democrats.