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March 2014 Employment: Another Boom That Nobody Feels

Rhode Island (with the rest of the states) is apparently experiencing an employment boom, although the evidence is difficult to see outside of the statistics.

What Rhode Islanders Need To Know About the Crisis in Central Coventry, Part 1

Superior Court Judge Brian Stern’s order liquidating the Central Coventry Fire District describes the crisis the district is in very succinctly…

The yearly operating expenses of the fire district were far in excess of the amount of funds that was being generated by taxes and other fees. The board had created what can only be described as an elaborate Ponzi scheme to hide this from the taxpayers, which resulted in a multimillion dollar structural deficit. A twenty, thirty, or even a fifty percent increase in taxes would not even resolve the entire structural deficit the board had created at the time.
Full detail on how the district got into this position, is in the main post.

February 2014 Employment: Likelihood of Revision

Pulled from most context, Rhode Island’s February employment picture looks great. With a little bit of context, though, it’s difficult to remain upbeat.

January 2014 Employment: Lots of Last

Rhode Island employment is now dead last in the nation by the three markers that the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity used two years ago, and the gap between employment and jobs is at (at least) a seven-year low.

Revised Employment Data; Please Wake Up, Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s revised employment picture for 2013 is now one of decline, and Rhode Islanders have to stop allowing that to be acceptable.

December Employment: Rhode Island in Contrast

Rhode Island’s December 2013 results paint a bleak picture, and Rhode Islanders shouldn’t buy into the spin that it represented a blip in a general improvement.

Imbalance in the Health Benefits Exchange

The enrollment picture for HealthSource RI brightened a little as the deadline for January coverage approached, but if anything, the long-term picture for the health care reform darkened.

November Employment: Up Month Continues the Servant Economy

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate may have dropped, but it’s now tied for worst in the country, and the percentage of people who are working for somebody else (rather than themselves) continues to climb.

Paying Money to Be Able to Give It Away

Federal grants have already paid large subsidies for applicants using HealthSource RI, but only for a small number of them is that the full taxpayer burden.

Employment: 2013 on Track to Go Out with a Whimper

Rhode Island’s employment results for September and October show a state that has lost any recovery that it had and is slipping in isolation from its neighboring states.

(Not) Observing the Childcare Provider Unionization Election; Also, An Alternate Cardio “Work-Out” If You’re Short On Time

As you’ve probably heard, home childcare providers have voted overwhelmingly to unionize.

August Employment: Where Are the Employed Going?

Rhode Island’s economy is continuing to slip, with the state leading the country in employment decrease from July to August.

So, Did the General Assembly “Move the Needle”?

Preliminary employment data for August suggests that Rhode Island really has moved the needle… just the wrong way.

July Employment: Oof!

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate held steady from June to July, but the underlying employment numbers show a dramatic drop. Coming the month after the General Assembly’s session, the question becomes: was this the needle move they were talking about?

June Employment, Edging Down

Rhode Island’s employment picture has not improved, and more-nuanced ways of assessing the numbers don’t leave much room for optimism. The dark silver lining is that its plight looks less terrible as other states lose their own ground.

Employment in May: Steady as She Doesn’t Go

Rhode Island’s employment picture is still stagnation, but with plenty of evidence that the state could slingshot back to life if it would stop holding itself down.

RI’s State Legislature: Second Most Expensive In The Country (And a Can-Do Attitude Has Them Shooting For Number One)

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was interested and a little startled to hear WPRO’s John Loughlin state that, operating budget-wise, Rhode Island has one of the most expensive state legislatures.

April Employment, the Slog and the Skepticism

The most significant change on the employment-data front might be confidence in the numbers, not just in terms of their raw validity, but in terms of increasing understanding that a falling unemployment rate isn’t necessarily a marker of economic health.

Legislative Control and Distance from Peak Employment

Charting the fifty states’ distance from their peak employment along with the party controlling the legislature shows some interesting results, not the least of which is the ability of other states to change their courses.

March Employment in Rhode Island: How Worlds Diverge

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate keeps going down, but a look at employment suggests that the picture remains gloomy.