Industry group Environmental Entrepreneurs compiled the rankings based on job announcements made by more than 70 projects nationwide in the three months ended in December. The announcements represent a project's potential to create future jobs, and do not imply that the project is actively hiring for the number of positions projected, according to Environmental Entrepreneurs Communications Director Bob Keefe.
Among the companies projecting new clean energy positions in Rhode Island were National Grid, which projected creating 529 new jobs; Boston-based Nexamp Inc., which projected creating 50 jobs for New England's largest solar installation at Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown; and wind energy research firm Navatek, which projected creating 16 jobs in South Kingstown.
Rhode Island's 595 clean energy job announcement total for the fourth quarter ranked sixth in the U.S. according to Environmental Entrepreneurs. Texas ranked first with 3,286 job announcements, followed by Arizona with 1,585 job announcements and New York with 1,265 job announcements.
During the full year of 2013, companies announced projections for 820 future clean energy jobs in Rhode Island, including the 595 jobs announced in the fourth quarter as well as 25 jobs projected by Schnitzer Steel Industries' automobile part-recycling facility in Johnston and 200 jobs projected by Deepwater Wind LLC.
Rhode Island did not place among the top 10 states for clean energy job announcements in 2013. California projected creating the most industry jobs last year, 15,397, while Texas ranked second with 6,368 job announcements and Hawaii ranked third with 5,748 job announcements.
Nationwide, more than 78,600 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in 2013 as part of 260 projects tracked by Environmental Entrepreneurs.
"When we invest in clean energy and clean transportation, we put people to work in every corner of the country," said Judith Albert, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs. "Whether it's a new wind farm in Iowa, an energy efficiency retrofit in Massachusetts, or a utility-scale solar array in Nevada, these projects require American ingenuity and labor. The sector is helping stimulate our economy."
To view the complete Environmental Entrepreneurs report, visit http://cleanenergyworksforus.org.]]>
Obama is directing the Labor Department to modify overtime rules so millions more people will be eligible for overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week, said the White House official, who requested anonymity because the plan hasn't been announced.
Workers now classified as executive, administrative or professional may include managers of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores who could receive overtime pay under the new rules, the official said.
President George W. Bush in 2004 set $455 per week as the threshold for what constitutes a white-collar worker for overtime pay purposes. The White House official didn't say what the new threshold would be.
About 10 million workers might benefit from the rule if it applied to people making less than $50,000 a year, the Economic Policy Institute said today. The Washington-based group supports the change. Obama will leave it up to the Labor Department to decide what pay threshold to set, said Ross Eisenbrey, the group's vice president.
"It changes your quality of life when you know you can't be required to work an extra 20 hours a week without being paid for it," he said in a phone interview. "It could mean more money in your pocket, and on the other hand it could mean a more relaxed and reasonable life."
The amount a change would cost employers depends on the threshold, which the institute recommends be about $52,000 a year, and on how employers decide to react, he said. Employers could limit workers to 40-hour work weeks or could pay workers time and a half for hours worked above 40.
The Obama proposal would restrict who can be labeled supervisors and made exempt from the rule, said Eisenbrey, who has talked with White House staff about it.
"The restaurant industry is famous for doing this, for calling people assistant managers," he said. "Retail establishments do this, convenience stories. But it's pretty widespread."
Democrats in 2004, led by presidential candidate John Kerry, who is now secretary of state, criticized the Bush plan saying it would cause more than 6 million workers to lose overtime pay.
While Bush got the change through in regulation, it also met opposition from both houses of Congress. Bush threatened to veto any legislation that would block it.
Obama's move would mark the latest in a series of executive actions this year from the president, who said in his State of the Union address in January that he plans to use that authority when he can in the face of resistance in Congress. Obama raised the minimum wage for federal contract workers and is lobbying Congress to boost it to $10.10 an hour nationally.
The push for a higher federal minimum wage has become a centerpiece of Obama's attempt to frame Democratic Party priorities before the November midterm elections that will decide control of the U.S. House and Senate.
Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and business groups say that raising the minimum wage would lead to a reduction in jobs, hurting those it aims to help. A Congressional Budget Office report last month found that raising the rate in three steps as Obama proposes would reduce U.S. jobs by 500,000, or 0.3 percent, while lifting 900,000 people out of poverty.
Business groups today criticized the overtime plan, saying it would be another cost burden on companies.
"The president's plan to increase overtime pay demonstrates another anti-business policy - coming on the heels of a proposal to increase the minimum wage, increase the minimum tipped wage, rising health-care costs, as well as ever-growing, costly and unwieldy regulations," Eric Reller, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business, said in an email.
The overtime requirement would disproportionately affect smaller businesses, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said.
"We understand that the administration is looking for ways to put more money in people's pockets, but the only way to do this is to grow the economy and create more jobs," Blair Latoff Holmes, a spokeswoman for the chamber, based in Washington, said in an email. "Adding more burdens to employers will not accomplish that goal."
Sixty-nine percent of Americans, including 45 percent of Republicans, support the president's call to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over the next three years, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. Twenty-eight percent of poll respondents oppose such action.
While the wage-increase proposal resonates with most Americans, the poll indicates that Republicans are finding persuasive counter-arguments, including the potential loss of jobs.]]>
The Tax Foundation calculated the combined marginal tax rate by adding a state's individual maximum personal dividend income tax (6 percent in Rhode Island) to the federal rate of 23.8 percent, which consists of the 20 percent top marginal tax rate plus a 3.8 percent net investment tax to fund the Affordable Care Act.
The study also accounted for whether a state levies local income taxes or allows a taxpayer to deduct their federal taxes from their state taxable income (which accounts for the Rhode Island rate not being a simple addition of the federal and state top marginal rates).
Rhode Island tied at No. 20 with Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. All five of those states posted a combined state and federal top marginal tax rate on personal dividends income of 28.6 percent, which was also the national average, according to the Tax Foundation study.
Massachusetts ranked at No. 29 with top marginal tax rate of 28.1 percent, while two New England states - Vermont (No. 6) with 30.4 percent and Maine (No. 9) with 29.8 percent - ranked among the 10 states with the highest rates in the country. Connecticut came in at No. 17 with 29 percent, and New Hampshire placed at No. 30 with 28 percent.
The state that ranked highest in the Tax Foundation study was California, with a combined state and federal personal dividends income tax rate of 33 percent. New York ranked second-highest with 31.5 percent and Hawaii ranked third with 31.6 percent.
Taxpayers in states with no personal income tax - including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming - face a top marginal tax rate on personal dividend income of 25 percent, the lowest rate in the country.
On the national level, the Tax Foundation study found that the United States average rate of 28.6 percent ranks ninth-highest among the 33 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The Tax Foundation is an independent tax-policy research organization based in Washington, D.C.]]>
The national average of compensation costs in December was $29.63 per hour. Regionally, compensation costs in the Northeast - including data from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as New England - averaged $33.87 per hour.
In September, New England's employer costs averaged $34.48 per hour, while the Northeast average was $33.40 per hour and the national average was $29.23 per hour.
Employer costs for employee compensations data are based on the National Compensation Survey, which measures employer costs for wages, salaries and employee benefits. Benefits include insurance costs, Social Security and Medicare, compensation, unemployment insurance, and paid leave benefits.
Wages and salaries accounted for 70 percent of all employer costs in New England in the December report, averaging $24.05 per hour, while employee benefits accounted for the rest. Out of that 30 percent, legally required benefits such as Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance accounted for 8.1 percent of all employer costs, while health insurance accounted for 7.5 percent and paid leave accounted for 7 percent.
In general, the BLS report indicated, paid leave accounts for a greater percentage of total employer costs the more people a company employs. Paid leave costs for establishments with fewer than 100 workers accounted for 5.9 percent of total costs, compared with 7.1 percent for establishments with between 100 and 499 employees and 8.4 percent for companies with 500 employees or more.
Legally required benefits, conversely, account for a smaller percentage of total costs at companies that employ more people. Employers with fewer than 100 employees said legally required benefits constituted 8.9 percent of total costs. That figure dropped to 8.1 percent for employers with between 100 and 499 employees and to 7.1 percent for employers with 500 or more workers.
Nationally, the East South Central region - which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee - had the lowest employer compensation costs in September, averaging $24.27 per hour.]]>
One result of the strategy was the acquisition of 2Gig Technologies Inc. for roughly $135 million, which helped Nortek grow net sales 3.9 percent to $2.3 billion for the year.
"The goal for these initiatives is to position the company as a world-class manufacturer with some of the strongest brands in its markets," said President and CEO Michael J. Clarke in a statement. "The new structure we are putting in place enabled us to hit major operational milestones" in sourcing, manufacturing footprint and logistics during the year, he added.
In addition to reporting full-year 2013 results, Nortek posted fourth-quarter sales growth of 8.6 percent to $548.9 million, although the company still recorded a net loss for the period of $8.9 million, an improvement on the 2012 fourth-quarter loss of $12.5 million.
Clarke said sales gains were recorded in all five operational segments of the company - residential ventilation, technology solutions, display mount solutions, residential heating and cooling, and custom & engineered solutions - "with U.S. residential construction activity and HVAC demand leading the way."
Looking ahead, "we remain cautiously optimistic about end-market conditions for full-year 2014. Although the recent industry statistics on housing starts, existing home sales and residential improvements have been somewhat soft, we believe the underlying conditions in the U.S. housing market remain sound," Clarke said. "We expect our product and market initiatives to continue gaining traction."]]>
Employees took home an average bonus of $164,530 last year, the largest since the 2008 financial crisis and the third highest on record, DiNapoli said in a statement Wednesday. Exchange member firms had profit of $16.7 billion, down from $23.9 billion in 2012.
"Although profits were lower than the prior year, the industry still had a good year in 2013 despite costly legal settlements and higher interest rates," said DiNapoli, a 60-year-old Democrat. "Wall Street continues to demonstrate resilience as it evolves in a changing regulatory environment."
Trading and investment-banking revenue at the nine biggest global firms fell 4 percent to $160 billion in 2013, as a drop in fixed-income revenue outweighed gains in equity trading and fees from advising and underwriting. Profit at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank, declined as it announced more than $23 billion in legal and regulatory settlements.
The largest Wall Street investment banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, each set aside a smaller portion of revenue for employee pay to cut costs and improve returns. Shares of the three firms each jumped last year as an improving U.S. economy sent the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to a record high.
Morgan Stanley reduced the portion of pay that it deferred to later years for top earners. The bank, which set aside 100 percent of 2012 bonuses for employees that had both total pay of at least $350,000 and incentive pay of $50,000, this year deferred between 50 percent and 98 percent of those workers' bonuses.
In October, DiNapoli predicted that Wall Street profits would fall by as much as 37 percent as employment fell to near a post-recession low. An impasse over spending in Washington, D.C., that month led to a federal government shutdown and legal expenses - including JPMorgan's $13 billion settlement to end federal probes of it mortgage-bond sales - were expected to drive down earnings, DiNapoli said at the time.
A blow to Wall Street's take can also hurt the bottom line for the state and New York City. In fiscal 2013, taxes on the securities industry and its workers delivered $10.3 billion to state coffers, or almost 16 percent of all state revenue, the October report showed. In New York City, the industry accounted for 8.5 percent of all receipts.]]>
Urban Outfitters Inc. dropped 4.6 percent after saying it remains cautious about its performance in the first quarter. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. tumbled 5.3 percent after forecasting results that trailed analysts' estimates. J.C. Penney Co. rallied 8.6 percent after Citigroup Inc. raised its recommendation on the retail chain. McDonald's Corp. rose 3.5 percent after an executive said the company may look to cut costs and borrow more cash to return to investors.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 1,871.14 at 12:23 p.m. in New York. The benchmark index closed at an all-time high of 1,878.04 on March 7. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 51.16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,367.52 on Tuesday. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 19 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day.
"The equity market is going to make continued progress in a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of progression," Jim Russell, who helps oversee $115 billion as a senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said by phone. "We're still evaluating how much of the economic weakness is weather related and how much of it is legitimate. We're hopeful that much of the weakness we've seen is weather related and that we'll get a snapback in the second quarter."
The S&P 500 rallied 4.3 percent in February after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the economy was strong enough to withstand measured reductions to the central bank's monthly bond purchases. Three rounds of Fed stimulus have helped push the S&P 500 up 177 percent from a 12-year low, as U.S. equities begin the sixth year of a bull market that started March 9, 2009.
The Fed is trying to determine how much of the recent economic cooling has been due to weather. U.S. employers added more workers than estimated in February, a Labor Department report showed last week. Other reports indicated manufacturing expanded faster than projected last month, while consumer spending rose more than estimated in January.
The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent on Monday as a report showed Chinese exports unexpectedly slumped last month and Ukraine began military drills.
Russia is wresting control of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, home to its Black Sea Fleet, sparking the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War. The European Union told Russia it must switch course in Crimea by next week or risk more sanctions as Ukraine's deposed president warned of a possible civil war.
Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Tuesday the country may mobilize 20,000 people to protect its borders. Ukraine says Russia has almost 19,000 soldiers in Crimea, which holds a referendum on March 16 on whether to secede.
"Sometimes, when you have strong rallies, you have these dull moments of consolidation," Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Cincinnati-based Schaeffer's Investment Research Inc., said by phone. "Obviously, the Russian situation has quieted down a bit and we're stuck in consolidation."
Investors have added $13.1 billion to U.S. equity exchange-traded funds in the past five days and withdrawn $8.2 billion from bond ETFs, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Real-estate stocks absorbed the most money among industry ETFs, taking in $564 million during the past week.
Nine of 10 main industries in the S&P 500 declined on Tuesday, with phone companies slumping more than 1 percent. Commodities shares declined as copper futures plunged 2.3 percent. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a gauge for U.S. stock volatility, rose 2.3 percent to 14.53.
Urban Outfitters slipped 4.6 percent to $35.78. CEO Richard Hayne said he expects poor weather to contribute to lower sales and profit margins in the first quarter for its Urban Outfitters-branded shops. The clothing retailer also reported earnings of 59 cents a share for the fourth quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of 54 cents.
American Eagle Outfitters lost 5.3 percent to $13.46. The teen-apparel retailer seeking a new CEO said it would break even in the current quarter. The average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for profit of 12 cents a share. Same-store sales will fall by a high single-digit percentage, the company said, a worse performance than the 2.3 percent decline analysts projected.
J.C. Penney jumped 8.6 percent to $9.14 after Citigroup upgraded the shares to buy from neutral, saying the company will meet its revenue and margin forecasts this year. The retailer predicted on Feb. 26 that gross margin will improve and same-store sales will increase by a mid-single digit percentage this year.
McDonald's increased 3.5 percent to $98.54, for the largest gain in the S&P 500. Chief Financial Officer Pete Bensen said the world's largest restaurant chain is "actively looking at ways to optimize our capital structure, while maintaining our long-term financial strength." That includes scrutinizing general and administrative expenses and selling stores to franchisees in countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, he said at an investor conference.
FuelCell Energy Inc. rallied 14 percent to $4.47. First-quarter revenue of $44.4 million exceeded the $42.3 million estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Shares of the fuel-cell manufacturer have more than doubled this month.]]>
UNFI also saw net sales increase, 13.9 percent during the three months ended Feb. 1, rising to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.
Total operating expenses as a percentage of net sales were 13.3 percent for the quarter, a decline of 70 basis points compared with the same period last fiscal year. UNFI's total operating expenses for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 included $3.6 million the company tied to a labor action at its Auburn, Wash., facility.
"Continued demand for our products further demonstrates that the trend toward natural and organic consumption continues to gain momentum," said Steven Spinner, president and CEO of UNFI.
For the fiscal year to date, UNFI reported net income of $55.7 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, an increase of 26.2 percent over the $44.2 million, or 89 cents per diluted share, reported for the same six-month period in fiscal 2013. Net sales increased 13.7 percent in the six months ended Feb. 1, rising to $3.2 billion from $2.9 billion a year earlier.
In the earnings report, released Monday, UNFI increased its guidance for fiscal 2014 earnings per share to approximately $2.45 to $2.51 from the previous estimate of $2.40 to $2.50. The company expects net sales in the range of $6.7 billion to $6.78 billion, an increase of between 10.5 percent and 11.8 percent compared with fiscal 2013.]]>
The number of positions waiting to be filled increased by 60,000 to 3.97 million, from a revised 3.91 million the prior month, the Labor Department said on Tuesday in Washington. The pace of hiring fell and fewer Americans quit their jobs.
The report follows data last week showing that February payrolls beat estimates after hiring in January was depressed by the weather. Faster hiring would help spur the wage growth needed to boost consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.
"Hiring was delayed during the winter due to bad weather, and I think we've started to see some catch-up already in the February figures," said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. in New York, speaking before the report. "We'll continue to see gradual improvement in measures like quit rates and hiring rates."
Tuesday's report helps shed light on the dynamics behind monthly employment figures. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 4.02 million job openings after a previously reported 3.99 million a month earlier.
The gain in openings indicates employers were confident about the economic expansion even as colder-than-normal weather limited hiring.
Employment rose by 175,000 in February, recovering after a lull in hiring that saw payroll gains of 129,000 in January and 84,000 in December, Labor Department figures showed last week. The jobless rate inched up to 6.7 percent last month from 6.6 percent the prior month, the lowest since 2008.
Tuesday's Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, report showed the number of people hired fell to 4.54 million in January, leaving the hiring rate unchanged at 3.3 percent.
Some 2.38 million people quit their jobs in January, down from the prior month's 2.42 million tally. The quits rate, which shows how willing workers are to leave their jobs, declined to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent.
The JOLTS report is among data monitored by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. It also made an appearance in the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting ended Jan. 29.
"Overall, labor market indicators appeared consistent with a gradual ongoing improvement in labor market conditions," the minutes state. "Among other indicators of labor market conditions, the rate of job openings edged up in recent months."
Tuesday's report also showed total firings, which exclude retirements and those who left their job voluntarily, increased to 1.74 million in January from 1.7 million a month before.
Job openings in the health-care, education and leisure and hospitality fields were among those accounting for the biggest increases in available employment, while the retail and trade, transportation and utilities industries showed declines.
In the 12 months ended in January, the economy created a net 2.2 million jobs, representing 54.3 million hires and 52.1 million separations.
Considering the almost 10.2 million Americans who were unemployed in January, Tuesday's figures indicate there are about 2.6 unemployed people vying for every opening, up from about 1.8 when the recession began in December 2007.
Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's Cos. is among companies with plans to add staff, setting the stage for further gains in employment as Americans return to stores once temperatures turn more seasonable. The company said Feb. 19 that it will be adding about 25,000 seasonal employees this year for the industry's busiest season.
Meanwhile, companies including Staples Inc., the largest U.S. office-supplies chain, are among those likely to lay off workers. The Framingham, Mass.-based company will close as many as 12 percent of its North American stores as online competition hurts sales, it said March 6.]]>
PROVIDENCE - More than 16,000 individuals and 130 small businesses signed up and paid for health insurance through HealthSource RI as of March 8, the state's public health benefits exchange said Tuesday.
The latest enrollment totals boosted the number of individuals and families getting insurance through the exchange 16 percent from the 14,086 paid enrollments reported through Feb. 8.
On top of the 16,345 paid enrollments as of March 8, another 3,345 individuals and families have initiated applications but have not paid.
Individuals and families have until the March 31 open enrollment deadline to sign up for insurance through HealthSource RI. After March 31, open enrollment will not resume again until the fall.
The 133 small businesses enrolled through HealthSource RI increased from 107 enrolled businesses on Feb. 8. The 133 businesses represented 491 employees and 795 total lives covered.
However, 1,132 employers have initiated HealthSource RI enrollment applications they did not complete, suggesting many more businesses may have explored getting insurance through the exchange but declined or became frustrated in the process.
There is no deadline for businesses to enroll through the exchange.
Of the total paid and unpaid individual and family plan enrollments through the exchange, the vast majority, 19,039, have been with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and only 651 with Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.
Small business enrollments were not included in the breakdown of enrollments by carrier, and for that reason, enrollment totals for UnitedHealthcare of New England plans - available only through the Small Business Health Options marketplace - are not available.
In addition to individual and family enrollments, 48,602 Rhode Islanders have signed up for Medicaid through HealthSource RI as of March 8.
HealthSource RI enrollment breakdown by age:
Under age 18: 996
Age 18-25: 1,997
Age 26-34: 3,168
Age 35-44: 3,284
Age 45-54: 4,470
Over age 55: 5,775
HealthSource RI enrollment breakdown by gender:
HealthSource RI enrollment breakdown by plan type:
Bronze-level plan: 4,457
Silver-level plan: 11,794
Gold-level plan: 3,281
HealthSource RI enrollment breakdown by financial assistance received:
No financial assistance: 2,284
Advanced premium tax credits: 7,401
Advanced premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions: 10,005
HealthSource RI enrollment breakdown by carrier selected:
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island: 19,039
Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island: 651]]>