A Faster Fall in Rhode Island

Slipping from 5.2% to 10%, Rhode Island led the nation in unemployment growth:

The rise in Rhode Island’s unemployment rate led the nation last year, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Only North Carolina, where unemployment grew by 4 percentage points, and Nevada, where it increased by 3.9 percentage points, approached the 4.8 percentage-point spike in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island’s year-end unemployment rate, 10 percent, was not the worst in the country; that was Michigan’s ignominy.
But the Ocean State’s economy is by far the most troubled in New England. Connecticut, where 7.1 percent of job seekers could not find jobs last month, has the region’s second-highest jobless rate. It is followed by Maine (7 percent), Massachusetts (6.9 percent), Vermont (6.4 percent) and New Hampshire (4.6 percent).

It’s past time we rewrite the owner’s manual for our state. The governor’s latest budget proposal took (ultimately modest) steps in the right direction, and it’s been nearly unbearable to watch the General Assembly twiddle its thumbs with hearings, as if waiting for the windfall de l’année to tumble down from Mount Obama.
Citizens and officials alike must realize that the year will come when no surprise miracle money will be available, and the longer we wait to retool the state — to make it an economic leader in New England — the farther will be our fall.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
12 years ago

Not to be cynical, but for most of the “leaders” on Smith Hill and in the unions, this year’s windfall — like the tobacco money, etc. — just gets them one step closer to that retirement in Florida.
The only interesting question is how they plan to divert as much of the Obama Windfall as they can into the nearly empty coffers of the public sector pension funds, without upsetting their poverty industry allies. East Providence clearly has them rattled — just look at Williamson’s highly atypical “no comment” on the non-release then release of the new actuaries’ report.
So don’t get your hopes up for any fundamental structural changes that would actually benefit the middle class taxpayer this year.

12 years ago

So don’t get your hopes up for any fundamental structural changes that would actually benefit the middle class taxpayer this year.
Posted by John at January 31, 2009 5:32 PM
Well put.
The state with the highest income and sales tax and the worst business climate in New England also has its highest unemployment. The state with the best business climate and “zero” income or sales tax has the lowest unemployment.
Now reap the whirlwind. I hope we hit 20% unemployment by the end of the year.
The brain-dead people of this state deserve nothing more than this gift from the 75 year debacle of “da party of da workin’ people”

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

> “da party of da workin’ people”
Not wishing for 20% unemployment in RI – but wouldn’t dismiss the possibility.
The RI General Assembly has “arranged” for Rhode Island to begin this worst national downturn in several decades with:
Billions of dollars in unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities;
Horrible roads, and bridges so poorly maintained that almost weekly another one has weight limits imposed upon it;
Survey after survey stating that Rhode Island is among the worst states in which an employer can open shop;
A national reputation for political corruption, rivaled only by Arkansas, Louisiana, New Jersey and Illinois;
Unskilled workforce produced by a sub-average public school system.
All bought with one of this country’s most burdensome tax regimes.
In other words, thanks to the Democrat General Assembly Rhode Island is confronting the worst economic downturn in decades, starting out as an economic cripple.
How else to explain having the second highest unemployment rate in the country, second only to basket-case Michigan?
As the national economy continues to decline, can economic quadriplegia for Rhode Island be far behind?

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.