This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Official Says RI Working On Unemployment Delays


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) â¿¿ The top official at Rhode Island's labor department told lawmakers Tuesday that his agency is working to address long telephone wait times and benefit backlogs in the state's unemployment system.

Charles Fogarty, director of the Department of Labor and Training, said individuals calling the state's unemployment call center faced an average wait time of 42 minutes as of last week â¿¿ down from 51 minutes just a few weeks ago. He said the problems are the result of the state's stubbornly high unemployment rate and recent layoffs at his department prompted by a loss in federal funding.

"No organization could maintain customer service in the short term if they lost one-third of their workforce," Fogarty told the Senate Finance Committee. "... We are doing everything we can."

Fogarty says customer service is improving thanks to technological upgrades and the recent rehiring of 33 staffers. But he warned the problems may continue because many of the call center's positions aren't funded past September and future funding is uncertain.

Lawmakers on the panel questioned Fogarty about the problems during a budget hearing Tuesday at the Statehouse. Sen. Ryan Pearson, D-Cumberland, said he's received several calls from unemployed constituents frustrated with the delays at the agency.

"I have to believe they have a plan," Pearson told The Associated Press following the hearing. "It's something we need to continue working on. They certainly don't have an easy job."

Rhode Island's 10.2 percent unemployment rate is tied with Nevada's as the highest in the nation.

During the 2007-09 recession, the federal government gave states extra money to beef up unemployment office staffing, but the dollars have dried up as the jobs picture has improved across the country. Following cutbacks in federal funding, nearly half of the states planned to eliminate more than 1,200 unemployment agency jobs last fall, according to a survey by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Michigan, for example, laid off 400 unemployment workers.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs