As economic news continues to generate headlines, RIPEC brings you an update on public policy developments in the Ocean State.
RIPEC on Public Policy
- RIPEC published its quarterly analysis of employment and economic conditions in Rhode Island in partnership with Bryant University’s enter for Global and Regional Economic Studies. While the data show several positive trends in the second quarter of 2022, such as the number of employed Rhode Islanders exceeding pre-pandemic levels and the lowest unemployment rate since 1988, the state’s economic rebound continues to be uneven in other metrics, including the labor force participation rate and recovery of Rhode Island-based jobs lost during the pandemic.
- Providence Business News, “RIPEC, Bryant report: R.I. economy shows improvement in Q2”
- The Public’s Radio, “Ian Donnis’ Rhode Island politics roundup for July 29, 2022”
- GoLocalProv, “3,000 More Rhode Islanders Are Employed Now Than Before the Pandemic, Says RIPEC”
- RINewsToday, “Rhode Island has employment gains but lags US in jobs recovery“
- Commenting on a recent study showing that Providence has the third highest commercial tax rate among major U.S. cities, RIPEC President and CEO Michael DiBiase identified the particularly wide imbalances in Providence’s property tax structure that shift the tax burden onto businesses and renters. RIPEC analyzed the inequities in property tax systems statewide earlier this year in the second report in its series on municipal finance.
- With the U.S. economy experiencing declining output and high inflation, most state budget officers say they are better prepared to weather a potential downturn than in the past due to robust revenue growth and the historic influx of federal funds over the past two years.
- According to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Rhode Island is the 15th least affordable state in which to rent a two-bedroom dwelling. The study found that 38 percent of Rhode Island households are renters, tied for fifth highest among states, and that the mean hourly wage for renters in the state is $17.10, 30th highest among states.
- A new congressional spending proposal focused on climate and health care includes grant funding for state and local governments for environmental protection and resiliency programs and consumer incentives for home and vehicle efficiency upgrades. The current bill does not repeal the Tax Cuts and Job Act’s cap on the state and local tax deduction, as sought by some legislators.
What to Look for in August
- RIPEC will publish its analysis of the recently enacted FY 2023 state budget and the state’s fiscal outlook.