Construction on the facility is tentatively slated to begin next year and is expected to be completed in 2018. It will be built to new federal Community Living Center design guidelines intended to maximize independent living while providing opportunities for socialization for residents.
By following those guidelines, the project will be eligible for up to 65 percent for federal reimbursement, reducing the borrowing cost to the state, according to a press release from Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee's office.
The state has sought pre-qualified construction management-at risk firms with the experience so that the project can be completed in a timely, efficient manner. It is expected that this contract will be awarded by the end of this year and the construction contract will be awarded in 2015.
Chafee, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline and members of the governor's administration were told what the state Department of Administration's Divisions of Purchases and Capital Projects and the Department of Human Services' Division of Veterans Affairs has completed in regard to the project, including:
Approval of a waiver to increase the number of nursing beds from 157 to 192
Approval for federal reimbursement of construction costs
Approval of an owner's program manager to oversee the project
Selection of an architectural design and engineering firm
Contracted for a feasibility study and demand analysis to understand veterans' needs
Solicited pre-qualified firms for construction manager-at risk services
"I am pleased with the state's effort on this project, which will serve our veterans with a new residential facility and upgrades to the existing building," Chafee said in a statement. "I commend the several state agencies that are coordinating to make this venture a reality. I thank the voters and those who advocated on behalf of our veterans for their support of this important project."
Director of Administration Steven Hartford said, "I am impressed with the hard work of our state agencies to complete this project. We have reached many important project milestones that have laid the ground work to get shovels in the ground in 2015."
Department of Human Services Director Sandra Powell echoed the statements.
"Throughout this planning and design phase, we have made it a priority to build a veterans home to the federal Community Living Center design standards. In doing so, we are not only ensuring a state-of-the-art, skilled nursing facility for our honored veterans, we are qualifying for up to $55 million in reimbursed construction costs from the federal government on behalf of Rhode Island's taxpayers," Powell stated.]]>
Warren Hebert, 67, of Barrington, admitted to the court that he failed to pay to the IRS approximately $1,266,680 in funds he withdrew from client accounts to pay the clients' federal employment taxes, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The release stated that Hebert admitted to diverting the funds for his own use, and that in some instances, he paid the additional tax liabilities, interest and penalties of other clients whose tax returns he had previously failed to accurately prepare, file and pay-over.
Hebert admitted to the court, beginning as early as April 2009 and continuing through at least October 2011, he diverted money from at least seven businesses operating in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including, among others, a moving and storage company, nursery school, jewelry packaging company, and marketing and communications company. Hebert also admitted to diverting funds from the Seekonk, Mass., Water District, a municipal water agency.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Hebert pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud and one count of impeding the administration of the Internal Revenue Code. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 9.
Wire fraud is punishable by a statutory penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Impeding the administration of the Internal Revenue Code is punishable by a statutory penalty of up to 3 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams. The investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the FBI, Rhode Island FDA Task Force, Rhode Island State Police and Barrington Police.]]>
Though the ranking slipped a place from 2013 and four places from 2011, the state showed slight improvements in two areas - poverty and disconnected youth.
According to information provided by Opportunity Nation, the poverty rate for all Rhode Islanders was 14.7 percent in 2013 and improved to 13.7 percent last year. Nationally, the poverty rate was 15.9 percent.
Also, the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are neither in school nor working also dropped, from 17,399 to 16,150 this year, representing 11 percent. That compares to a national average of 14.1 percent.
With a population of just over 1 million, Rhode Island's unemployment rate is higher than the nation's (7.6 percent in September, according to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, compared with the national average of 5.9 percent), but its median household income is higher at $51,803.60 compared with $48,781.
As for education, the number of children in preschool was nearly identical to the national average (47.7 percent compared with 47.6 percent), but the percentage of high schoolers who graduate in four years was 76 percent, compared with the national average of 81 percent.
The percentage of adults with an associate's degree or higher was 40.2 percent, compared with 37.1 percent.
Violent crime per 100,000 population in Rhode Island also was lower than the national average, 252.4 compared with 386.9. The number of medical doctors per 100,000 population was 384.46 compared with 270.17 nationally.
And, 23.12 percent of adults ages 18 and over volunteer, compared with 25.49 percent nationally.
Overall, Rhode Island's score was 53.4 out of 100, compared with the national average score of 52.8. In comparison, Vermont ranked first with a 66.6 score; Massachusetts ranked third with a 62.7 score; Connecticut's rank was five with a 62 score; New Hampshire, seven, with a 61.4 score; and Maine, 14, with a 58.6 score.
The Opportunity Index provides a snapshot of economic, educational and civic health in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and more than 3,100 counties. Updated annually, the index was developed in partnership with Measure of America.]]>
"The primary question that must be answered by policymakers is, moving forward, what should Rhode Island's overarching, strategic policy be towards health reform and what role should [HealthSource RI] play in implementing that strategic policy direction?" the report said. "Since HealthSource Rhode Island will eventually require non-federal funding to sustain its operations, HSRI's intended functions and exchange design options should be reviewed and agreed upon by the Governor and the General Assembly."
Since launching in October 2013, HealthSource Rhode Island has not yet submitted a proposal for how to self-sustain, as required by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While the ACA's Jan. 1, 2015, deadline for state exchanges' self-sustainability is fast approaching, Rhode Island applied to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in July 2014 to be allowed to continue spending its federal funds for another year.
A report submitted to the R.I. House Finance Committee in March 2014 puts a yearly post-build operating budget at $23.9 million, and RIPEC's report calls on Rhode Island's next governor to prioritize a plan for the exchange's future by submitting an all-inclusive plan to the General Assembly as part of the fiscal year 2016 budget proposal.
"Unknowns about HSRI's future, specifically regarding long-term funding, highlight a fundamental shortcoming in Rhode Island's approach to health care policy," the report says.
From the exchange's Oct. 1, 2013, launch through Aug. 2, reported RIPEC, 26,686 people enrolled in individual health insurance plans on HealthSource RI, about 39.3 percent of the total individual market in the state, the exchange estimated.
In the same time frame, 262 employers enrolled in the Small Business Health Options Program, 258 of which have paid for their plans. The vast majority of these, 96.5 percent, employ no more than 25 staff members. A total of 1,821 lives were covered through those plans.
RIPEC's report outlines sustainability plans from states that already have submitted them, including Massachusetts and Connecticut. Approaches vary, with some states charging a percentage fee on total premiums collected by all insurers, and some charging percentages of premiums only on specific plans.
The report presents the possibility of entering a collaborative regional agreement to provide exchange services. RIPEC also gave examples of the states that established exchanges, but have since transitioned to federal management. Oregon and Nevada both ran into major technical and funding options before transferring operations to FFM.
RIPEC's 32-page report also publishes HealthSource RI's recent enrollment demographics and a review of the organization's history and expressed goals.
In addition, at RIPEC's 71st annual meeting scheduled form Monday evening, John C. Simmons, RIPEC executive director, is expected to be presented with the Tax Foundation's annual "Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform Award."
Representatives from the Tax Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., selected Simmons as one of six individuals honored due to "extraordinary efforts to advance the cause of simpler, smarter tax policy in the previous year."
"One must not go any further than the Tax Foundation's analysis of tax policy to find evidence of the need to make Rhode Island more competitive. This award recognizes Rhode Island's recent tax reform changes which could not have happened without the unwavering leadership of the Rhode Island General Assembly, and the steadfast commitment of Rhode Island's business community," Simmons said in a statement. "I am humbled and honored to accept this recognition on their behalf, and I look forward to continuing our work on making Rhode Island even more competitive.
The 2014 list of awardees includes: N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Neb. Gov. Dave Heineman, Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder, Ind. Sen. Brandt Hershman and Washington, D.C., Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.]]>
In a complaint filed in Providence Superior Court on Friday, GoGo Media Inc., also of Cranston, said Alex and Ani broke its "promise" to sell Seven Swords for $2 million in March.
As a result of this alleged breach of contract, GoGo Media said it gave up existing clients, changed its business model and expanded its offices unnecessarily, the complaint said.
GoGo Media asked for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, plus legal costs.
"GoGo Media, in reliance upon the promises made by Alex and Ani, substantially changed position to its detriment," according to the complaint, filed by GoGO attorney Brian D. Gross of Manion, Gaynor & Manning LLP of Boston. "Among other things, GoGo Media gave up a large infusion of cash from its investors, completely changed its business model, gave up existing contracts as part of its acquisition of Seven Swords and increased its leased space to accommodate expanded offices."
Starting in November 2013, the two parties negotiated a transaction that would eventually have had GoGo Media acquire Seven Swords along with an exclusive contract to manage Alex and Ani media buys of at least $22.5 million (with a 15 percent commission), according to the complaint.
By January, Alex and Ani investors JH Partners had approved the deal and Alex and Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce had signed a term sheet. By the first week in February, GoGo had assumed operational control of Seven Swords with Seven Swords employees formally moving in to expanded GoGo offices.
Then on March 14, Alex and Ani, "abruptly and without explanation" informed GoGo that the deal was off, the complaint said.
Alex and Ani had announced that Feroce had left the company the previous day.
In May, Alex and Ani announced that it would dissolve Seven Swords and turn over its marketing to an external agency.
"We believe we have a strong legal defense in this case, and we look forward to resolving this matter before the court," said Alex and Ani spokesman Gregg Perry in an e-mail.]]>
"With crude oil prices at a two-year low, plentiful supply and relatively low demand, we're seeing dramatic price drops at the pump - good news for motorists," Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England senior vice president of public and government affairs, said in a statement.
In Rhode Island, gasoline prices decreased 8 cents for self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline to an average of $3.21 per gallon, representing the seventh week of declines. Locally, prices are 23 cents lower than a month ago, but 10 cents more than the national average for regular unleaded at $3.11.
A year ago, Rhode Island's average price was 29 cents higher at $3.50. AAA said prices have not been this low since February 2011.
Gas prices in Rhode Island are ranging from $3.04 to $3.50.
Average per-gallon prices for different grades of gas ranged from $3.47 for mid-grade unleaded to $3.59 for premium unleaded and $3.69 for diesel.
In Massachusetts, gasoline prices dropped 9 cents from last week, representing the sixth week of declines, to an average of $3.18 for self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline.
Prices locally are 22 cents lower than a month ago, but 7 cents more than the national average. A year ago at this time, Massachusetts gas prices were 21 cents higher. Like in Rhode Island, Massachusetts prices have not been this low since February 2011, AAA said.
Prices range from $2.89 to $3.43.
Average per-gallon prices for different grades of gas ranged from $3.41 for mid-grade unleaded to $3.54 for premium unleaded and $3.70 for diesel.]]>
At its Saturday meeting, the corporation formally accepted and ratified the previous acceptance of gifts that will support financial aid, internships and academic priorities. Gifts of $1 million or more require formal acceptance.
The Brown Corporation also engaged new trustees and established five new named professorships.
Anonymous donors are contributing $38,736,035 to support "Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown," the university's strategic plan. Also supporting that plan with a $26 million gift are alumni and Brown parents Richard A. Friedman, a 1979 graduate, and Susan Pilch Friedman, a 1977 graduate.
Other major gifts include:
$20,376,856 in support of the School of Engineering's new building and a gift of $19,164,207 to be designated at a later date, from anonymous donors;
$6 million, from the Chen family, to support an endowed professorship in China Studies; the Chen Family Fund for Faculty and Student Engagement with China and Chinese Culture; an endowment for global experiential teaching and learning; and the Brown Annual Fund;
$3 million from an anonymous donor, to support undergraduate summer internships, undergraduate teaching and research awards; and expansion of psychological services;
$1.65 million from Joseph Edelman, to support a fund for pilot research in circuit therapies and an upgrade of the Siemens 3T MRI scanner MAGNETOM Prisma in the Brown Institute for Brain Science;
$1,260,712 from the Thomas J. and Olive C. Watson Foundation to help establish an endowed professorship in the Thomas J. Watson Jr. '37 Institute for International Studies;
$1 million from the Bernard Osher Foundation to support scholarships at Brown University for students who have experienced a cumulative gap in their education of at least five years and anticipate participation in the workforce for a significant period of time subsequent to graduation;
$1 million From Alan L. Stuart, a 1959 graduate and Brown parent, to increase the Stuart Family Fund and support the performing arts;
$1 million From Cheryl C. Effron, a 1987 graduate, and Blair Effron, to create a permanent endowment to support cross-disciplinary undergraduate education in the humanities and to provide current-use gifts for this same purpose until the endowment is fully funded;
$1 million from anonymous donors to support the piloting of a new program for students to intern with U.S. public sector agencies for a semester after their first or second year at Brown; and
$1 million from a Hong Kong parent who wishes to remain anonymous to support a postdoctoral fellowship at the Watson Institute for International Studies for scholars working on China.
The four trustees are George S. Barrett, a 1977 graduate and Brown parent; Genine Macks Fidler, a 1977 graduate and Brown parent; Alexandra Robert Gordon, a 1991 Brown graduate; and Ralph F. Rosenberg, a 1986 graduate and Brown parent.
The named professorships include the Robert Family Professorship in International Studies, the Professorship in Brain Science, the Chen Family Professorship in China Studies, the Charles Evans Hughes 1881 Professorship in International Affairs and a Professorship in Engineering.
The corporation also approved the appointment of Takeo Watanabe as the Fred M. Seed Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences.]]>
The 2013 Environmental Monitoring Collaborative Report released Sunday said that investing in long-term evaluation of critical issues affecting the state's natural resources has been key to this effort, and has helped guide Rhode Island's future management decisions.
It also states that strong voices at the federal, state and local levels have helped the Ocean State.
"Rhode Island's natural resources, especially the very heart of the state, Narragansett Bay, are our most important economic drivers, as well as having become a touchstone for the people who live here," Environmental Monitoring Collaborative Chairwoman Nicole Rohr, assistant director of the University of Rhode Island's Coastal Institute, said in a statement.
"In particular, the work being done on preparing Rhode Island for climate change puts us in the forefront on these issues, and has been serving as a model for the rest of the United States. But we must support these with the necessary funding for environmental monitoring," she continued.
The 2013 annual report is by the state-mandated Environmental Monitoring Collaborative, a function of the Rhode Island Bays, Rivers and Watersheds Coordination Team, created by the General Assembly's Comprehensive Rhode Island Watershed and Marine Monitoring Act of 2004.
"Many of Rhode Island's environmental management objectives are based on promoting a healthy environment as the first step toward a strong economy and resilient coastal communities − safe and beautiful beaches attract visitors from around the world, healthy salt marshes protect coastal communities from the increasing threat of sea level rise and hurricanes, and the clean marine waters of Narragansett Bay support economically critical fisheries and aquaculture industries, among others," Rohr said.
Ames Colt, chair of the Bays, Rivers and Watershed Coordination Team added, "One of the areas where the state has taken a lead role is in adapting to the current and future change of sea level rise and the increase in intense storms. We are also preparing for the impacts of climate change in these areas."
The key aspects of the 2013 Environmental Management Collaborative Report are:
Climate change is impacting Rhode Island's natural environment in many ways. An area of particular concern is more frequent intense precipitation events that will result in higher volumes of stormwater runoff, that if not properly treated may result in more frequent beach closures and restrictions on shellfish harvesting.
Changes in precipitation patterns will produce more intense rainfall events, but could also result in unusually dry periods in between, impacting river and stream flows, groundwater resources, flood prevention, and threats to drinking water supplies.
The need for additional funding of environmental protection also was stressed in the report:
Rhode Island's executive authorities face eroding state and federal support for environmental monitoring, and the RIEMC projects an FY 2016 annual unmet need of $2.7 million. This ongoing shortfall is already disrupting several monitoring programs, which can lead to having to make management decisions with a shortage of information on how best to move forward.
Federal funding support through the Environmental Protection Agency for saltwater beach water quality monitoring is threatened each year. If it is cut, there is no state funding available to conduct the water quality monitoring required to protect public health at Rhode Island's bathing beaches. This program is critical to a state that relies on keeping its beaches clean and healthy since beaches are a primary contributor to the Rhode Island economy.
The report pointed out how investment in environmental upgrades have benefited the state:
Despite continued funding constraints, RIEMC programs have reported notable water quality improvements. Several Rhode Island environmental monitoring programs launched enhancements to program methods, data analysis, and are diligently developing future plans to enhance the efficacy and efficiency of environmental monitoring.
Significant reductions in nutrient discharges to upper Narragansett Bay have been realized, the result of more than $250 million in infrastructure improvements at wastewater treatment facilities. This has resulted in water quality improvements at upper bay sites, which allows areas for shellfishing to be open for longer periods of time.
Monitoring of marine water quality indicates that investments in wastewater treatment are reducing levels of harmful bacteria in upper Narragansett Bay, leading to discussions of licensing Sabin Point Beach in East Providence, providing more convenient beach access to urban residents.
With support from URI's Coastal Institute, the Watershed Watch Program developed a database of its volunteer monitoring information about freshwater and marine water quality. This not only makes the data more accessible to scientists, state agencies, watershed organizations and the general public, but also recognizes and supports volunteer involvement in a state with a nationally recognized tradition of environmental stewardship.]]>
Third-quarter profit represented an increase of 42.6 percent on the same 2013 period. Earnings per diluted share totaled $1.40, compared with 96 cents per diluted share in the 2013 third quarter. Excluding a pre-tax charge of $11.6 million, or 0.06 percent per diluted share, related to the restructuring of the company's investment in the Hub Network joint venture, adjusted net earnings for third quarter 2014 were $187.8 million.
Revenue for the period increased 7.3 percent in the 2013 third-quarter total of $1.37 billion, led by the boys segment total of $478.5 million, compared with $392 million the prior year.
Revenue from games increased 2 percent to $395.2 million with strong sales of Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, Simon Swipe and Operation. Girls revenue rose 5 percent to $407.7 million, driven by My Little Pony, Play-Doh Dohvinci, Littlest Pet Shop and Nerf Rebelle sales. Preschool revenue declined 7 percent, however, to $188.5 million, as core Playskool and Sesame Street product sales declined.
"Our third-quarter results continued to reflect the momentum we are building in our franchise brands and key partner brands, the positive results of our investments globally and the benefits of leading with compelling content and storytelling," Brian Goldner, Hasbro's president and CEO, said in a statement. "In the third quarter, we grew revenues across all operating segments, delivered improved profitability and took strategic steps to grow our brand portfolio and content delivery over the longer term, including forming a new strategic merchandising relationship with Disney Consumer Products for the globally popular Disney Princess and Frozen properties."
Deborah Thomas, Hasbro's chief financial officer, said in a statement that the third-quarter results were "indicative of Hasbro's strong financial and competitive position."
"In this environment of growth and financial strength, we remain focused on improving profitability, returning cash to our shareholders and investing back into our business, through investments in innovation, systems and portfolio expansion across our blueprint," Thomas said.
Hasbro shares were trading at $54.95 Monday morning. On Friday, shares closed at $53.85.]]>
As a result, the "significant underutilization of labor resources" that Fed officials highlighted last month as they renewed a pledge to keep interest rates low for a "considerable period" is probably even more severe than currently estimated. And the information gap means policy makers may have more difficulty gauging the right moment to raise rates off zero.
"We have more slack than the official statistics suggest," said Michelle Meyer, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York. "Because it's difficult to measure underutilization, there's still a lot of uncertainty as to how much slack remains, which means there's uncertainty as to the appropriate stance of monetary policy."
The Labor Department can put its finger on how many people are working part-time because full-time jobs aren't available, or how many are so discouraged that they're not even looking for employment. Other forms of underemployment - for example the graduate with an English degree who's working as a barista - are harder to pinpoint though just as important in trying to measure whether the labor market has improved.
The data shortfall sparked a discussion at a Peterson Institute for International Economics conference last month in Washington. Erica Groshen, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, asked what additional data would be needed to help quantify labor-market slack.
Betsey Stevenson, a member of President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, pointed out that while it was possible with current data to determine whether people working less than 35 hours a week are underutilized, those putting in a longer workweek fall off the radar.
The BLS considers anyone working at least 35 hours a week to be full-time. The Census Bureau, which surveys households to get the information needed for the Labor Department to crunch the monthly jobs data, doesn't ask full-timers whether they'd prefer a different job or additional hours. As far as anyone knows, those workers are fully employed and content.
"If you're a college graduate working at Starbucks and you work 32 hours, we know you're in the wrong job," Stevenson said at the conference. "If you work 35 hours, we don't know."
Private surveys have attempted to fill in the gaps. Some 46 percent of workers who graduated from college in 2012 or 2013 said that they were in a job that did not require their degree, according to a study released in May by Accenture Plc. That's a five percentage point increase from last year, the New York- based management-consulting company's report showed.
Meanwhile, a report earlier this year from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 44 percent of working recent grads were underemployed in 2012, defined as holding a job that doesn't usually require a bachelor's degree at all. That was up from 34 percent in 2001 and approaching levels last seen during the 1990-91 recession, when concern about underemployment heightened, the central bank said.
Mario Mendoza said he works as many as 70 hours a week driving a taxicab in Miami. The 34-year-old has a bachelor's degree in sociology and anthropology and a master's in global sociocultural studies from Florida International University. He said finding an entry-level job where he could do social or market research would put his driving days behind him.
"I've applied for many of those jobs, I just haven't been called up for the position," Mendoza said. "If you spend so many years in school preparing yourself and studying, you want to use those skills to work, not to do something like be a waiter or drive a cab or work at Starbucks."
The existence of workers like Mendoza suggests there's even more room for labor-market improvement than official measures let on, further complicating the debate on when the Fed should start shifting away from its accommodative stance. Policy makers are already grappling with whether to delay any pullback in stimulus as a slowdown in global growth causes turmoil in financial markets and inflation decelerates with the plunge in commodity prices.
Payroll gains that are shaping up to be the strongest since 1999, combined with a jobless rate that fell to a six-year low of 5.9 percent in September, add to the confusing job-market signals. Joblessness is approaching the 5.2 percent to 5.5 percent range that Fed officials consider full employment even as the share of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more remains higher than at any point prior to the recession that began in December 2007.
Official figures on job satisfaction would go a long way toward helping solve for the mystery of slack, Meyer said. Such information could have implications for measures such as the number of people quitting their jobs and worker productivity, she said. While the Labor Department's household survey offers much useful information, "it's not comprehensive," she said.
With the BLS' budget tight, economists may be forced to make do with current data. Even if new survey questions were to be introduced, the lack of history means it would probably be of little use in the near-term, chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, said in an interview.
"I tend to think that maybe we do have enough measures," Feroli said. "Arguably there could be a little bit of an improvement, but by and large we may actually have good measures of slack and just haven't been using them well enough."
An improving economy will, in time, help take up some of that slack, said David Blanchflower, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
"You have square pegs in round holes, but as the economy tightens, people can move where they want," Blanchflower, who also joined the discussion at the Peterson Institute last month, said in an interview. "When you're pretty close to full employment, that goes away."
To the extent the labor market in the U.K. resembles the U.S., another sign of slack may exist in so-called full-time workers who want even more hours, said Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.
The U.K.'s Labour Force Survey asks those who are not looking for a different or additional job whether they'd like to work longer hours at their current wage if given the chance.
In the U.K., 6.3 percent of full-time workers said they'd like more hours, Blanchflower and David Bell, an economics professor at the University of Stirling, found in a paper published last year. Another 19.7 percent of part-timers and 11.3 percent of the self-employed sought to expand their workweeks.
Employees willing to work longer for the same pay also explain why wages have been stagnant, Blanchflower said. Bosses know they can always extend the workweek for current staff without having to bid up salaries to lure more help.
At a press conference on Sept. 17 following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Janet Yellen, the Fed's chair, said the "very slow pace of wage increases does reflect slack in the labor market." Average hourly earnings rose 2 percent last month from September 2013, compared with a 3.1 percent increase in the year ended December 2007, when the last recession began.
The types of work now being offered suggest wage gains will remain limited. Job openings at trades such as retailing and at leisure and hospitality companies, which pay less on average than other areas, have climbed almost 50 percent since the end of 2011, compared with an 18.6 percent gain for professional services that pay more, according to Labor Department data.
Rob Newton, 25 and living with his parents in Rhode Island, said he would happily exchange his full-time landscaping job for one where he can apply his degree in occupational health and safety from Keene State College in New Hampshire. As winter approaches, he's staring down looming unemployment.
"I really don't want to get to the point where I'm 28 or 29 and still not finding work," Newton said. "I don't want to be living in my parent's basement for that much longer - for their sake and for mine."]]>