Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, July 2014: Job Trend Cools in Summer

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Whether or not there has been any tangible evidence, the statistics have suggested that Rhode Islanders’ job prospects boomed for the first six months of 2014.  The number of employed Rhode Islanders hit a ledge in July, but a state doesn’t lead the country in job growth without showing some gains relative to other states.

In the case of the Ocean State, it managed to slip its unemployment rate below those of the Southern states of Mississippi and Georgia.  For the ...

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Stenhouse – Constitutional Convention – Video Testimony & OpEd

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The Center’s CEO provides testimony & opinion about how a ConCon can be structured to best serve the people of Rhode Island and not the typical special interest insiders.

Stenhouse testimony at August 7, 2014 bi-partisan preparatory commission hearing … (click below)

Stenhouse testimony re. a “People’s Convention” at August 21, 2014 bi-partisan preparatory commission hearing … (click below)

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, June 2014: Really Pushing Credulity

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You’ll never guess what Rhode Island’s unemployment rate did in June.  It went down again!  To 7.9%.

That’s still worst in the country (tied with Mississippi), but Rhode Island has now had its best six months of employment growth in recorded history.  For the past three months, the Ocean State has had the most employment growth (as a percentage) in the entire country.  It’s boom-time in the Ocean State, even if we’re still at the wrong side of just about every ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, May 2014: The Silent Boom

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Rhode Island’s unemployment rate moved down by a notch, rather than a leap, in May, to 8.2%.  However, the 2,659 newly employed Rhode Islanders, according to official Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures, lead the nation in terms of growth. The downsides of these numbers are that they’re simply difficult to believe and that, even if they’re accurate, the state’s employment situation is still abysmal.

The first chart below illustrates the first downside. If we believe the lines that the government ...

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House Budget Adopts 25% of Spotlight on $pending Recommendations

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But Leaves $168 Million of RI Taxpayer Dollars on the Table

 

The budget unveiled in the Rhode Island House Finance Committee, last week, showed a $13.3 million decrease in state spending, compared with the governor’s proposed budget.  Approximately $3.1 million of the reductions overlap with the Spotlight on $pending report that the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity released in March, after a review of the governor’s proposal.

Another $52.9 million in Spotlight on $pending suggestions were in the budget, but ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, April 2014: Increasingly Hard to Believe

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Rhode Island’s unemployment rate took another large leap downward, to 8.3%.  The bad news is that the same is true across most of the country, so the Ocean State is still last.  The worse news is that there still doesn’t seem to be much by way of alternative evidence of this boom.

The first chart below illustrates why some healthy skepticism continues to be in order. After many years of general stagnation, February through April 2014 arrive as a ...

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Managing a Phase-In of Major Sales Tax Reform

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The state budget is like a talisman that government officials and special interests raise to ward off the evil spirits of tax reform.  Anything that promises not to raise taxes, or at least not to be “revenue neutral,” is said to be entirely unworkable — destined to eliminate every valued program of government.  And when they’re really stuck, budget protectionists will claim that even a reform that they ought to support for every economic and humanitarian reason is impossible because the ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, March 2014: A Boom Without Tremors

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The headline for Rhode Island’s employment picture for March is that the unemployment rate slid all the way down to 8.7% (still last in the nation, though).  You’d be hard pressed to find evidence of this employment boom in the experience of living here, but there it is.

The first chart below illustrates why some healthy skepticism continues to be in order. After many years of general stagnation, February and March 2014 arrive as a sudden ramp, both in ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, February 2014: Still Last

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Rhode Island’s employment picture for February gives a positive impression, on first look. Put in the contexts of the past and of the country, however, it’s not quite as sunny.

On the first count, the numbers show a boom in employment, out of nowhere. We’ve seen such results every year for the past several, and they’ve always been followed by significant downward revisions.

On the second count, although Rhode Island was second strongest (after ...

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The Economic Impact of the Above-Market Deepwater Contract

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Published in Cooperation with the Beacon Hill Institute

Deepwater Impact

On December 13th, National Grid supplied new details about its contract with Deepwater Wind to purchase power produced by its proposed offshore wind farm. The contract calls for above-market rates, with the total cost estimated in the response along with other details.[1] Based on the underlying assumptions that the project will produce 125,000 MWh of electricity, requiring an annual capacity of 47.8%, the paper predicts a total of $474.3 million ...

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