Although politicians are looking to the unemployment rate to paint sunny pictures of RI’s economy, in August, the gap between the jobs that the RI economy had created since the recession and the number of Rhode Islanders added to food stamps grew and still led New England.
Once again, the drop in RI’s unemployment rate is deceptive, resulting from a bigger drop in people actively looking for work than the drop in employment; at least RI had the rest of New England for company in October.
September marked the month that Rhode Island employment stopped its unabated month-to-month growth in 2015, but a downward revision of the whole year should still be expected in January.
Since the recession began, Rhode Island has added about one-tenth of its population to the food-stamp rolls, and with jobs recovering slowly, the safety net remains full.
Rhode Island’s job market continues to explode… at least according to one Bureau of Labor Statistics measure. If true, that means the Ocean State is the one saving grace of the Southern New England economy.
Employment data for June shows Rhode Island somehow leading the country in employment growth while actually losing jobs based in the state.
Employment and labor force numbers for Rhode Island are still booming, but it remains difficult to believe they won’t be revised significantly, meaning that celebration of a low unemployment rate would be premature.
Growth in employment numbers has taken off, in Rhode Island, but history and data on RI-based jobs suggests that the numbers have broken free of reality’s gravity.
In 2009, US District Court Judge William E. Smith decided a lawsuit (Cohen v. Rhode Island Bridge and Turnpike Authority) about whether non-Rhode Island residents could be charged a substantially larger toll ($4.00) for using the Newport Bridge than residents were charged ($0.83).
Judge Smith centered the substance of his ruling on a three-part test from a 1994 Supreme Court case, Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. County of Kent, Mich…
“A levy is reasonable under [Evansville-Vanderburgh Airport Auth. Dist. v. Delta Airlines, Inc.] if it (1) is based on some fair approximation of use of the facilities, (2) is not excessive in relation to the benefits conferred, and (3) does not discriminate against interstate commerce.”
In arguing that the Newport toll structure violated the third part of the test, the plaintiff cited Oregon Waste Systems v. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, where the Supreme Court in 1993 had ruled…
“We have held that the first step in analyzing any law subject to judicial scrutiny under the negative Commerce Clause is to determine whether it “regulates evenhandedly with only ‘incidental’ effects on interstate commerce, or discriminates against interstate commerce”….As we use the term here, “discrimination” simply means differential treatment of in-state and out-of-state economic interests that benefits the former and burdens the latter. If a restriction on commerce is discriminatory, it is virtually per se invalid.”
However, Judge Smith upheld the Newport toll structure, in part, because he found that the plaintiff had assumed a connection between a residency requirement and interstate commerce which was left unproven…
In this case Plaintiff has failed to identify a specific in-state commercial interest that is favored by the Newport Bridge toll discount at the expense of particular out-of-state competitors, so it cannot demonstrate that the discount discriminates against interstate commerce.
Suffice it to say that in the case of a substantial in-state versus out-of-state toll differential on commercial vehicles, in-state commercial interests favored at the expense of particular out-of-state competitors will be readily identifiable, and the test cited in Oregon Waste Systems that looks unfavorably on differential treatment will be applied.
The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s new school choice economic model projects statewide savings and can help educate the public.
Just like last year, March employment data is showing huge improvement in Rhode Island. Just like last year, it’s likely to be revised downward, and other factors suggest a continuing decline.
February’s employment data begins to raise the question of whether Rhode Island will ever actually grow its labor force. The decreasing unemployment rate may be an indication that people are rapidly giving up on the Ocean State.
The unemployment rate in Rhode Island disguises disturbing trends in Rhode Island’s employment condition.
Revisions to Rhode Island’s employment data didn’t affect the top-line unemployment rate, but employment decreased, and the Ocean State’s standing relative to other states generally worsened.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate may have “improved” below the 7% milestone, but the underlying data continues to give cause for alarm.
Data collected by the College Board reinforces survey results showing that Rhode Islanders want alternatives to the state’s languishing public schools.
The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity unveils an online application to compare states, including Rhode Island, and demographic groups.
Once again, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has drifted down, but once again it has done so in a way that bucks the national trend of employment gains.
Rhode Island’s employment picture was indeed “mixed” in October, but context makes it simply bleak.
Rhode Island’s September employment story was one of “down.” The unemployment rate was down, but so were labor force and employment numbers.
Trends in the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Legislative Freedom Index show the unhealthy attitude of the state’s legislators.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Whatever is generating the strange statistics in the labor market, a shift toward part-time work doesn’t appear to provide a satisfactory explanation.
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.
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.