The Unemployment Clock Clicks On

For some reason, it feels as if this new report has come early, but be that as it may, Rhode Island is now up to 12.4% unemployment. That’s about an eighth of the workforce, and as Andrew pointed out, that doesn’t include folks who are partially employed, which brings total under-employment to over one out of five Rhode Islanders.
Here’s the part that I find especially disturbing:

The June jobs report was not without positive signs. The number of employed state residents rose by 1,400, the second monthly increase this year. That category did not grow in a single month in 2008.
Many of the newly employed are probably working in other states. The total number of jobs in Rhode Island declined by 900 in June.

The work to be found, in other words, is being found elsewhere, and as I’ve been predicting, as the rest of the country recovers (especially the rest of New England), Rhode Island will watch its most motivated, productive citizens packing up and finding a better life elsewhere. I’m beginning to think that stabilization will ultimately come as a result of the workforce’s shrinking to the size of the economy, not the other way around.

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14 years ago

To be “Fair and Balanced”, you might want to spend a few words on the gross inefficiency of the efforts made to actually get unemployment checks to those who qualify for them. Legitimate claimants are put on hold for long periods of time; there is currently a minimum of a 40 minute wait if you phone the UI office. Many are disconnected before they speak to anyone. Many are so put off or daunted by the wait that they sell themselves short by not calling at all. Many who finally get through to someone have been delayed so long that they are informed that their benefits have expired or been partially forfeited. Legitimate claimants are paying for the state’s inefficiencies. This has the effect of taxing the poor.
So, it’s true that “The Unemployment Clock Ticks On”, but it appears that the people at AR are only concerned with 1/2 of the problem. Why not speak more fully by addressing the concerns of legitimate claimants?

14 years ago

OTL, you don’t get it. Legitimate claimants JUST DON’T MATTER here.
(Unless, of course, they are affiliated with the R.I. Tea Party.)

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