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September 2014 Unemployment: Down Some More

Rhode Island’s September employment story was one of “down.” The unemployment rate was down, but so were labor force and employment numbers.

Moderation of the General Assembly’s Wrecking Ball

Trends in the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Legislative Freedom Index show the unhealthy attitude of the state’s legislators.

RI Income Tax Withholding Shows No Evidence of Employment Boom (But a Bigger Tax Take)

A comparison of income tax withholdings, in Rhode Island, with employment growth indicates that (1) employment statistics have probably been off, and (2) the state’s method of soaking taxpayers is not a wise strategy for economic growth.

August 2014 Unemployment: Turning Down from the Clouds

The employment figures for Rhode Island are on a downswing, although a shrinking labor force keeps the unemployment rate steady or “improving.” Meanwhile, a likely revision in January may darken the picture further.

SNAP Data Sings the Rhode Island Tune

Month-to-month trends of SNAP beneficiaries in Rhode Island and across the country show another way that Rhode Island is unique and reinforces a theory of decline that seems to fit every picture in the Ocean State.

Transparency Site Brings Unprecedented Access to Tiverton

A new Web site and open-government application in Tiverton kick off the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s project to provide Rhode Islanders with a nation-leading level of transparency in local government.

July 2014 Employment: The Dream Is Over

Rhode Island’s statistical employment surge came to a screeching halt in July, but not before putting the Ocean State in company with the Deep South. (Of course, the numbers still look likely to be revised downward dramatically in January.)

About That Part-Time Job Theory

Whatever is generating the strange statistics in the labor market, a shift toward part-time work doesn’t appear to provide a satisfactory explanation.

The Education Legacy of the Chafee Era

NAEP scores and comparisons of trends across the country suggest that the stall of education reform during the Chafee era has not been good for Rhode Island’s children.

June 2014 Employment: And the Happy Face Keeps Smiling

Based on the numbers, Rhode Island’s employment woes appear to be coming to an end. The numbers feel wrong, though, and some experts’ explanation doesn’t seem to fit.

Illegal Aliens and RI Social Programs: Qualifying Documentation Ranges from Strong to Alarmingly Weak

… In response to an inquiry from Ocean State Current-Anchor Rising, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services sent over several documents. One of those listed all of the documents that an applicant for social services can submit to verify citizenship qualification for those benefits.

May 2014 Employment: Further Stretching Credulity

Employment results were positive, in Rhode Island in May. The Ocean State still lags the country, though, and it’s getting more and more difficult to believe that the government’s numbers are accurate.

Tax Foundation & RI-STAMP on Tax Reform Differences

Tax Foundation rankings and RI-STAMP projections show that the RI House’s budget might game some rankings a little, but legislators still aren’t willing to make substantive changes to improve the lives of workaday Rhode Islanders.

April 2014 Employment: Still Booming… Inexplicably

The search for external evidence of Rhode Island’s supposed employment boom continues, and continues to come up empty.

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.