March 2, 2008

Good Jobs A-Goin'

Justin Katz

It would be a shame if this leap-day story were to be washed away in the wave of cycling news:

Rhode Island employers last month shed an estimated 1,700 jobs and the state unemployment rate in January climbed to 5.7 percent, the highest since 1995, according to a government jobs report to be released today.

The state has lost 7,200 jobs during the last 13 months and ended last year with the first annual jobs decline since 2001 — the strongest signal yet, economists say, that Rhode Island is at the leading edge of a nationwide recession.

"The U.S. is beginning a recession and it looks like Rhode Island may have gotten a head start," David A. Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poors Corp. in New York, said yesterday.

Rhode Island's unemployment rate last month climbed 0.5 percent, to 5.7 percent — compared with 4.9 percent nationwide — and the number of unemployed residents in the state hit 32,800, the largest number in more than a decade, according to the state Department of Labor and Training. ...

"Rhode Island has been the weakest economy in New England for some time," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's, "so I wouldn’t be surprised if it's the first in recession." ...

Rhode Island's latest job numbers released today surprised economists, who were unprepared for such a dramatic reversal. Rhode Island labor officials had previously reported that the state in 2007 gained 3,300 jobs, and now find that the revised data shows 5,200 jobs were lost. ...

In Rhode Island, the revised data show that construction employment, which is closely tied to the housing market, suffered a bigger hit than originally thought. During the last 12 months, the state has lost 2,300 construction jobs, including 600 last month, according to the revised jobs data. Construction job losses now are almost as large as those in the long-declining manufacturing sector, where jobs fell 2,500 during the same 12-month period.

Hey, I've got an idea: let's put forward legislation to attract masses of low-skilled illegal immigrants to our state. It's the compassionate thing to do, after all.

Have you noticed, by the way, that RIFuture has come to be dominated by Obamamania? My impression is that they're wagering that the charmant orator will draw an army of know-nothings to the polls to check the Democrat straight-ticket box, blissfully unaware of the massive damage that they are thereby doing to their state. A few You Tube videos with catchy music and famous people mouthing the syllables "oh-ba-ma," and thousands more Rhode Islanders lose their jobs.

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its not just losing jobs.. its losing good jobs with good comapnys that paid benefits,etc.

brooks drug, amgen, bradford dyeing,to name a few.

can you list the other big companmys that have laid people off. i think there was another in coventry

Posted by: johnpaycheck at March 2, 2008 11:13 AM

I'm seriously considering flipping the straight "D" ticket in November. Why? I say let 'em have it and completely drive it into the ground and Gio and his team of wheel-spinners haven't given me a scintilla of a reason why I should have any faith that they are even mentally capable of doing anything to save the state.

Posted by: Greg at March 2, 2008 11:13 AM

Johnny, the electronics company recently bought by the French and located in the cow pastures of West Kingston is still there.

But for how long is anyone's guess. There are rumors that they're looking to move their warehouse from West Warwick to Pennsylvania.

Posted by: Greg at March 2, 2008 11:16 AM

I remember back in the 70's / 80's there were sayings (about recessions) that "when the national economy sneezes, Rhode Island catches cold" and "RI is typically one of the first into a recession, and last ones out").

Such is what occurs when you have decades of Democrats controlling taxing and economic policy. For you see, the Democrats are concerned about what is best for "working families" - so long as they're "public sector working families."

The State flag motto should be: "You want fries with that?"

Posted by: Tom W at March 2, 2008 11:20 AM

No Tom, it should read "You want Union fries with that?"

Posted by: Frank at March 2, 2008 11:44 AM

I don't visit RI Future as much as I used to, because it's become as irritating as it is predictable. It's not like AR, which at least has some thoughtful analysis; not just a bunch of "the other side is evil". As an alternative, I often visit the RI section a site called BlogNetNews which has feeds for most of the RI blogs -- so it gives you the information from those other sources, while not actually making you have to go to those other sites.

Perhaps I'm wrong (and to some extent, I hope I am), but does anyone suspect that there could be a quid pro quo in play re the Obamamania thing, i.e. "pay for play" by the Obama campaign? I've been told that the Obama folks, mainly through online ad buys, as well as though direct payments for favorable coverage, have been buying friendly blog press nationwide, for the purpose of creating "buzz." Although payola is illegal on the radio, I don't think it applies to the Internet (yet). Just a thought. Of course, they could also just be "true believers," so in that case, "please pass the kool-aid."

PS The Obama phenomenon thing is intriguing at some level. Of course, so was the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

Posted by: Will at March 2, 2008 12:55 PM

I'm voting for Obama if the socialist party nominates him.

I have a theory that the majority of Americans are too fat and lazy and will continue down the socialist path so we might as well hasten the journey.

I'm hoping that the reality of a socialist society will shake awake America and we can more quickly revert back to our roots of personal responsibility and inidividual liberties.

My theory does have one major flaw...Rhode Islanders have been suffering the results of a socialist government for years but continue to support corrupt politicians. Maybe people are incapable of understanding until it is too late?

Oh, well, I'm still going to vote for Obama and pray we come to our senses by the next election.

Posted by: Curious Resident at March 2, 2008 2:44 PM

The Democratic assembly deserve criticism for the current state of the state but please tell me how after 12+ years of Republicans in control of the executive branch they not share some of the blame. Also maybe someone will give me some information about this blogs chosen name. I've heard of "weighing anchor" as in to hoist anchor.

Posted by: Phil at March 2, 2008 4:02 PM

Why, Phil, I figured even a liberal could answer this one: "but please tell me how after 12+ years of Republicans in control of the executive branch they not share some of the blame?"

It's quite simple. The Democrats control the legislature and can override at will. Duhh!

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at March 2, 2008 4:27 PM

we can all speculate what would be happenning if fogarty had beat carcieri!!!!!!

Posted by: johnpaycheck at March 2, 2008 9:22 PM

Justin, you are in the construction biz- okay- the high-end part of it- but still you have to know that the jobs lost in construction are all the low wage earners- the recent arrivals-err- illegal aliens- so what is your problem? Bile Rising, I mean Anger Rising, oops, Anchor Rising certainly is not going to shed tears over THOSE jobs lost. It is not you who is losing a construction job. Companies employing the borderliners always intended on making an endrun around true and fair employment. Some of the dubious construction projects- the mill do-overs- were predicated on the cheap labor. From one in the construction biz I say good riddance to the dubious but not to the people working

Posted by: David at March 4, 2008 5:32 PM

My, aren't you clever, David? Your originality is outshone only by your delivery.

As it happens, the carpenters who've come by my jobsite looking for work have all been experienced, middle aged, and by all appearances "average Rhode Islanders."

I wonder, too, are illegal aliens included in job loss statistics? I'm not sure.

Posted by: Justin Katz at March 4, 2008 6:49 PM

Sorry. No cleveness intended. Just some pent up hostility. The East Bay may be different than the West Bay. In East Greemwich, huge, 100 home developements by the likes of the Toll Brothers, employed the nailgun toting lowpaid workforce that drove down the labor costs of house building. Fair pricing for building was and is directly and adversely affected by these enterprises. I am directly and adversely affected. You talk in platitudes- you are not affected. Not directly. You exist in the high end where every nail is considered- rarely is time or materials seriously questioned. Good for you. My point is that while I am affected much more than you, I refuse to vent anger on the low wage people who have for the most part been used. Instead of a legitimate quest worker program ( that Bush wanted and I would oppose) we got the illegitimate version. But I do not want to oppose the people working - who came here to work.

Posted by: David at March 5, 2008 6:11 PM
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