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August 25, 2015 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business, unemployment.

Genesee County's unemployment rate was reported at below 5 percent for the third straight month, with a July number of 4.7 percent.

The July rate is the lowest its been for the midsummer month since 2007, when the rate was 4.1 percent.

The 2015 figure is lower than a year ago when the rate was 5.0.

In all, the labor department currently lists 1,500 local residents without jobs and 17,800 with jobs.

The department also reports a total of 24,000 non-farm jobs in the county, up slightly from the previous July when there were 23,800 jobs reported. There were 24,400 jobs reported in the county in June.

The lowest recorded unemployment rate for July since 1990 is 3.4 percent. The highest jobs number for July since is 24,600 in 2008.

August 11, 2015 - 5:21pm
posted by Traci Turner in business, jobs, economy, career center.

helpwantedaug112015.jpg

Local employers are faced with a new obstacle: too many job openings and not enough workers to fill them.

Due to a strengthening labor market, the number of people hunting for jobs is dwindling.

Genesee County's unemployment rate has dropped to 4.5 percent in June according to Department of Labor statistics. The county hasn't experienced an unemployment rate this low since October 2007.

With the unemployment rate at its lowest figure in eight years, positions are becoming harder to fill. Many local employers have increased their hiring since the beginning of the year. More than 300 job openings in the Batavia area are currently posted on the New York State job bank Web site. Some positions have been up for a couple weeks while others have been posted for months. 

Help wanted signs have even made a comeback as a way for employers to find workers.

"Employers put the help wanted sign out with the hope to attract a person who may not be Internet savvy, or a friend that will pass the information on to a person they know who is looking for a job," said Scott Gage, director of the Genesee County Job Development Center. "As the available talent pool gets smaller and smaller, you are going to see more of those help wanted signs because it is a low technology way to get workers."

Employers typically hire to fill entry-level positions and young emerging workers are their main source for these types of jobs.

Melissa Landers, human resource generalist for Batavia Downs Gaming and Racetrack, has been hiring a large amount young people to fill food and beverage positions for the racing season. Landers said it's hard to find workers because Batavia Downs is open every day of the year and people don't like to work overnights and holidays.

For jobs that require prior training or experience, Gage has recently seen the pool of available workers shrink drastically.

"Employers are having a hard time finding workers because there is such competition among themselves, especially for skilled workers," Gage said.

According to Gage, one of the hardest positions to fill is maintenance mechanics in the food-production industry. With the increased number of food-production companies in the county, mechanics that have experience repairing food-processing equipment are in high demand. The competition among employers has even caused wage rates to rise for the position. 

One reason for the shortage lies in the historical shift from an emphasis on trade skill jobs to jobs that require a college degree. Consequently, there is a smaller pool of workers who have vocational training. 

Gage frequently gets job orders from employers that are looking for people with vocational skills and students who have graduated from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership are strong candidates for these jobs.

"Emerging workers with vocational training have a leg up in the workforce," Gage said. "They are getting wage rates similar to students who have completed two years of college."

While employers look for applicants with training and similar work experiences, it's also important to find an applicant with a strong work ethic and positive attitude.

Shelley Falitico, director of Genesee ARC, looks for applicants that are compassionate and open to learning different approaches for working with people who have disabilities.

Due to a new two-year contract the ARC has signed with area schools, she has recently been hiring bus drivers to transport children with disabilities.

The positions Falitico finds most challenging to fill are physical therapists and speech pathologists. Competition is high for these positions and many qualified applicants relocate to bigger cities to work, Falitico said.

Colleen Flynn, community relations director at United Memorial Medical Center, said the hopsital will search a little longer to find an applicant who understands the importance of customer service with patients and knows how to work well in a team environment.

"It's important that they have the skills necessary for the position, but it's really about the attitude and the right kind of personality to round out the team," Flynn said.

With the recent growth at UMMC, the hospital has been having a difficult time filling specialized positions such as clinical laboratory technologists. According to Flynn, college students are not majoring in that field as much and there is a significant amount of competition among employers. Other positions such as clinical analysts and registered nurse specialities are also hard to fill because qualified applicants often live in larger cities.

"In our region, it's much harder to recruit people to come to a rural county than if you live in a highly populated area like Buffalo or Rochester," Flynn said. "When you are the only hospital in the county, you have to work harder to attract workers because they typically are not already here."

One of the Career Center's goals is to make the county more attractive to families and students graduating from BOCES and Genesee Community College. The center is also working with the Genesee County Business Education Alliance to develop highly skilled jobs and promote occupations where there are shortages. 

In the future, Gage foresees the employer base and job market in county continuing to grow.

"Based on what I'm seeing and local committees who are continuing to develop the job market in Genesee County, I think we are well positioned to bring new opportunities to the area," Gage said. "The county is becoming really competitive with other areas in the state and even nationwide."

July 23, 2015 - 9:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business.

The unemployment rate for Genesee County hit a 100-month low for June, according to Department of Labor statistics.

The rate fell to 4.5 percent. The last time the rate was that low or lower was October 2007, when the rate stood at 4.2 percent.

The lowest rate of that year was 3.8 percent in August and in May.

A year ago, the June rate was 4.8 percent. It was 4.7 percent this May.

For June, there were 24,300 non-farm jobs in Genesee County, down from 24,600 in June 2015.  That June number is still the highest it's been so far in 2015, and with exception of last June, the highest it's been since July 2010.

Unemployment in Wyoming County is 4.9 percent, it's 6.1 in Orleans, and 5.3 in Livingston. In the Buffalo area, it's 5.3 percent and in the Rochester region, it's 5.1.

June 23, 2015 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business.

The number of people with jobs in Genesee County has improved, according to statistics released today by the state Department of Labor.

The sunnier employment picture for local residents comes a couple of weeks after a labor department report revealed that the county fell flat on in-county job growth in May, but the same jobs report showed an increase in the workforce in Monroe and Erie counties.

There are 300 more local residents with jobs now than there were a year ago, according to today's report. The total has climbed from 28,900 in May 2014 to 29,200 this May.

That puts the Genesee County unemployment rate at 4.7 percent, compared to 5.0 in May 2014.

The 4.7-percent rate is low, but not the lowest figure of the past 12 months. The rate was 4.6 in October. In the past 12 months it's been as high as 6.8 percent, which was the figure in January.

The unemployment rate in Wyoming County is 5.2 percent, down form 5.8 percent a year ago. In Orleans it's dropped from 7.0 to 6.2 and in Livingston, from 5.7 to 5.1.

The state rate is 5.3 percent and the national rate is 5.3.

June 18, 2015 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business.

Year-over-year job growth for Genesee County was stagnant in May, according to data released by the Department of Labor.

In May of 2014 and 2015, there were 23,900 jobs locally, according to the department's count.

The unchanged non-farm jobs number comes in a month that New York State as a whole added more than 142,000 jobs, jumping from 9.133 million jobs to 9.276 million jobs.

The Rochester area added 7,100 jobs and the Buffalo region added 13,000.

Wyoming County was also flat in jobs growth for May, holding steady at 13,500 jobs. The data for Livingston and Orleans counties are included in the Monroe County data.

May 27, 2015 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business.

Genesee County's unemployment rate dropped in April to 5.1 percent, according to Labor Department statistics released today.

That's down from 5.5 percent a year ago.

The last time April unemployment was lower was in 2007, when the local rate was 4.4 percent, though the rate has been lower in the past 12 months, when it was 4.8 in October.

The Department of Labor says that there are 28,400 residents of Genesee County with jobs, up 100 from the prior year. There are 1,500 people counted as unemployed, down 100 from a year ago.

The jobs data comes out a week after Scott Gage, director of the local job bureau said that his department currently lists 400 job openings and the number of employment seekers coming into his office is dwindling.

The unemployment rate in Wyoming County dropped from 6.6 percent to 5.8 percent, in Orleans from 7. 7 to 6.4, and in Livingston, from 5.6 to 5.2.

New York's rate is 5.5 and the national rate is 5.5.

May 21, 2015 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in career center, jobs bureau, jobs, economy, business.

Scott Gage, director of the Genesee County Job Development Center, has a simple message for anybody looking for a job or a better job: come on down.

There are currently 400 job openings listed with the career center and not nearly enough applicants to fill them, Gage said.

"If anybody is interested in work, definitely come down and see us at the career center, because there are a lot of openings," Gage said.

Yes, many of the jobs are entry-level production jobs, but they're good paying jobs, Gage said. There's also a number of professional-level jobs available.

The recession-era fear people had about taking a stab at a new job at a chance for career advancement or higher pay has disappeared, Gage said. More people are looking to move up, which helps create openings for other workers and it's also the sign of a strong local job market.

"There are not a lot of job seekers coming through our doors," Gage said.

April 22, 2015 - 10:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, employment.

Genesee County's unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 to 6.0 percent from last March to this March, according to the latest data from the NYS Department of Labor.

At the same time, the total number of local residents who are employed, and the total number of local residents who are unemployed, both declined.

There are now 27,500 people with jobs in the county, according to the data, compared to 27,700 in March 2014.

There are 1,800 people listed as unemployed, compared to 2,000 a year ago.

The total number of non-farm jobs in the county rose from 22,000 to 22,100. 

The number of non-farm jobs in March 2015 increased from the previous month by 200.

The total number of manufacturing jobs has remained steady during the time period at 3,000. Goods-producing jobs have held steady at 3,800.

The national unemployment rate is 5.6 percent and the state's is 5.8.

In the Rochester area, the rate is 5.5 percent, and in Buffalo, 5.9.

The rate in Orleans County, 7.2, Livingston, 5.5, and Wyoming, 7.4.

 

March 31, 2015 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, employment.

There are fewer people with jobs and fewer people without jobs in Genesee County, according to labor statistics released this afternoon.

The Department of Labor reports that in February, 27,200 residents in Genesee County had jobs, compared to the same month a year prior when 27,500 had jobs.

At the same time, the number of residents without jobs dipped from 2,200 to 1,900 over the same period. 

The county's unemployment rate dropped 7.3 percent to 6.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of jobs in the county remained unchanged at 21,800. That number was 21,300 in 2013 and the most recent historical high for February comes from 2008, when there were 22,400 jobs reported.

The state's unemployment rate is 6.4 percent and the nation's is 5.8, both better than a year ago.

Erie County's rate is 6.1, Monroe is 6.5.

In the GLOW region, Livingston is 6.0, Orleans, 7.8 and Wyoming 8.0.

January 22, 2015 - 5:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs.

While the Department of Labor is boasting of 30,000 new jobs in New York in December, Genesee County was apparently not part of the boon.

The county lost 200 jobs from December 2013 to December 2014, according to the latest figures released by the DoL.

There were 21,900 jobs in the county last month, according to the report.

The nation as a whole added 240,000 jobs during the period and the national unemployment rate has dipped to 5.6 percent. New York's rate is 5.8 percent. The county's latest rate is not yet available.

During the same period, Wyoming County lost 100 jobs, down to 13,100. 

For jobs numbers, Orleans and Livingston counties are included in the Rochester count, which totals 129,200 jobs, down 200 from a year ago.

Buffalo-Niagara, however, added 800 new jobs, up to 558,400.

Here's the DoL's press release on the jobs report:

In December 2014, New York State’s private sector job count increased by 30,100, or 0.4 percent, to 7,638,200, reaching a new all-time high and outpacing the nation’s growth. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, the state’s economy has added 535,600 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 41 of the past 48 months. This period included 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth, the state’s longest streak on record (current data go back to 1990).

The statewide unemployment rate in New York declined from 5.9 percent to 5.8 percent in December 2014, reaching its lowest level since September 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor. In addition, New York City’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent, remaining at its lowest level since October 2008.

The state’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data becomes available the following month. The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

“In December 2014, New York State’s economy experienced its largest monthly private sector job gain in two years and outpaced the nation. In addition, the state’s unemployment rate continued its recent downward trend in December,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

December 29, 2014 - 4:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in taxes, economy.

The drop in gas prices may be great for your pocketbook, but it's costing Genesee County, and other local governments, a bit of money, though the precise amount of lost revenue is dependent on how the local economy does in other sectors.

County Treasurer Scott German's back-of-the-envelope calculation is at least $500,000 in lost sales tax revenue for the county and another $500,000 distributed among the county's other municipalities, based on current gas prices.

Officials, however, expect much of that drop in revenue to be offset by increased local sales and a seemingly growing local economy.

Since the county already budgeted for a $300,000 drop in sales tax, said County Manager Jay Gsell, any decline in gas sales tax will be a soft blow.

"The level of consumer spending and consumer confidence being up in last quarter of 2014 and new retail opportunities in late 2014 and 2015 could also help stave off fuel sales decline estimated by the county treasurer," Gsell said. "Sales tax projections are not an exact science and statewide figures during 2014 have been all over the map and inconsistent."

German said there are so many variables in sales tax, it makes it hard to predict revenue, even though the sales tax on gas is a nice chunk of change for local governments.

"Who would have thunk back in August that we would be paying less than $3 a gallon for gas around the holidays?" German said.

There is a delay in transfer of sales tax revenue from the state to the county, so determining the exact amount of the revenue decline isn't possible just yet, German said.

Most of the local fuel sales is from travelers on the Thruway and fuel prices could also increase the number of travelers on the Thruway, thereby increasing gross sales tax revenue.

The county -- with its fleet of snow trucks, maintenance trucks and patrol cars -- will realize some cost savings on its own fuel expenditures, but it's too soon to get those numbers, officials said.

Batavia City Manager Jason Molino said that while sales tax accounts for 18 percent of all sales tax revenue, he's planning on either a slight increase or flat sales tax revenue.

"That's got to have an impact when one-fifth of your sales tax comes from fuel sales," Molino said, but there's also an upside to lower fuel prices that will help boost revenue.

"I was out on the west side of town before Christmas and the parking lots were packed," Molino said.

An informal survey of a handful of The Batavian's advertisers found a universal sentiment that these stores had a strong holiday sales season.

German said the impact of holiday sales won't hit the books until April. Before then, it's not possible to put a number on how well the county did in November and December, at least according to sales tax figures.

Molino said the county's low employment rate combined with one of the strongest growth rates in real wages in the state is helping to offset any drop in gas sales tax revenue.

"How long prices are going to stay ... at this low level is the bigger question," Molino said. "There's no real answer to that question. It would be nice if there was some price stability."

December 11, 2014 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, employment.

If you're out of work, or underemployed, this is a great time to be looking for a job or a better job, said Scott Gage, director of the county's Job Development Bureau.

The unemployment rate has been at or below 5 percent all summer and now into the winter, which is a period of low employment the county hasn't seen since 2008.

The job bureau currently has 279 job openings listed. A year ago, there were only 199 jobs listed.

"Employers are hot to get new employees," Gage said. "This is a great time to be job searching. If people are unemployed, they should come down to the career center and see us. We can help them find a job."

Gage said they're seeing both people who were underemployed finding new employment that better meets their qualifications, and people who have been among the long-term unemployed are finding work.

For the long-term unemployed, there is a job-training program available that is funded by the federal government through the H1B visa program (the same program that brings foreign workers into the country).

The jobs available aren't just entry-level jobs, Gage said. The list includes $16 and $18 an hour jobs and jobs that pay $35,000 to $40,000 a year.

"There are significantly more jobs available now," Gage said.

PROMOTIONAL NOTE: If you're looking for a job, or need to hire an employee, don't forget about GLOWJobs.net.

April 18, 2014 - 8:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, employment.

The Labor Department reports 100 more jobs in Genesee County for March 2014 over March 2013.

There are a reported non-farm 21,700 jobs in the county. That's also an increase over February, when 21,500 jobs were reported.

The highest number of jobs in Genesee County for March since 1990 was 22,700 in 2008.

According to the Labor Department, New York added 108,000 over the past year.

The state's unemployment rate is reported at 6.0. The county's updated unemployment rate is not yet available. The rate for February was 7.5 percent.

March 27, 2014 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs.

Genesee County added 300 jobs from January to February, and 100 jobs over last year, according to data released this morning by the NYS Department of Labor.

The department reports 21,500 jobs in Genesee County, compared to 21,200 a month ago and 21,400 a year ago.

The state reportedly added 12,000 jobs in February.

The state's unemployment rate is reported at 6.8 percent. Genesee County's updated unemployment rate has not yet been released. It was reported at 7.3 percent in January. The 12-month low was 5.7 percent in August after hitting 9.1 percent 13 months ago.

January 28, 2014 - 7:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs.

For the third month in a row, Genesee County's unemployment rate remained steady at 6.1 percent, according to state officals, who released December figures today.

That's better than the 8.2 percent of a year ago.

The Upstate's rate of 6.4 percent, down from 8.4 percent a year ago, brought a bit of jubilation to the governor's office. Cuomo's office released this statement:

“The local unemployment rates released today by the State Department of Labor are great news for Upstate New York. The numbers speak for themselves – the unemployment rate for Upstate New York dropped from 8.4 percent in December 2012 to 6.4 percent by the end of 2013. These figures prove Upstate New York’s economy is heading in the right direction and that our focus on revitalizing the region is delivering results. More needs to be done. This year, we will build on that work to deliver another on-time budget that creates jobs in every region, connects New Yorkers with new economic opportunities, and continues to make our communities more prosperous.”

Livingston County's rate dropped from November to December, 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent.  Orleans' rate is 8.4 percent and Wyoming is 7.3.

January 23, 2014 - 6:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs.

There are 100 new jobs in Genesee County compared to a year ago, but the jobs number remained unchanged from November to December, 2013, according to data released today by the Department of Labor.

There are 22,300 non-farm jobs in the county, according to the report.

The state is touting 10,400 new jobs statewide and a drop of the statewide unemployment rate to 7.1 percent.

The unemployment rate for Genesee County has not been released.

Wyoming County now has 13,500 jobs, up 100 from a year ago. There is no separate job data available for Livingston and Orleans counties.

December 26, 2013 - 10:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs.

Genesee County's unemployment rate held steady at 6.1 percent for November, the same as it was in October and lower than the 7.5 percent reported in November 2012.

There are a reported 1,900 local residents unemployed, compared to 2,300 a year ago.

The state's rate is reported at 6.9 percent, down a percentage point from a year ago, and the national rate is 6.6 percent.

Elsewhere in GLOW, Livingston County's at 6.4 percent, Orleans at 8.5, Wyoming at 7.1, which is a slight jump from the 6.5 percent reported the previous month.

December 19, 2013 - 2:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs.

New employment data shows Genesee County adding 200 jobs from November 2012 compared to November 2013.

The 22,300 non-farm jobs in the county is 100 fewer than October's jobs number, according to data released today the NYS Department of Labor.

Wyoming County also gained 200 jobs year-over-year, climbing to 13,500. Data for neither Livingston nor Orleans counties were included in the report.

November 27, 2013 - 7:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs.

Genesee County's jobs picture weakened slightly month-over-month for September to October, but is still better than a year ago.

The unemployment rate stands at 6.1 percent for October, compared to 6 percent for September and 7.2 percent for October 2012.

There were 29,400 non-farm jobs reported in the county for October, down from 29,200 in September, but still higher than the 29,100 jobs reported in October 2013.

The unemployment rate in Orleans County is 7.7 percent, and 6.4 in Livingston and 6.5 in Wyoming.

The state's rate is 7.5 percent and the nation's rate is 7 percent.

Ten counties around New York have reported unemployment rates of 6 percent or lower. Yates has the lowest rate in WNY at 5.2 percent. Rochester is 6.7 percent and Buffalo-Niagara is 7 percent.

September 25, 2013 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs.

For the first time since April 2008, Genesee County's unemployment rate dipped below 6 percent, being recorded at 5.8 percent for August.

That's three-tenths lower than July and a percentage point lower than August 2012.

Wyoming County's unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent, Orleans to 8.4 percent and Livingston to 6.7 percent.

In WNY, only Ontario County at 5.7 percent has a lower unemployment rate than Genesee County.

Buffalo's rate is 7.3 and Rochester is 6.9.

The state's rate is 7.5 and the U.S. rate is 7.3.

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