Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

jobs

March 27, 2017 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, trade policy, economics, news.

The Farm Economy

This is part four of an eight-part series on trade and how changes in policy might affect the local economy.

cornprices20072016.jpg

It's hard to say just how much of what is produced in Genesee County is exported overseas. There are several companies that manufacture products here and ship what they build to China, Europe, the Middle East, Mexico and, of course, Canada, including Liberty Pumps, Chapin and Graham.

There is no database, though, that tracks exports at a rural, county level.

What we can say with some certainty, however -- our county's biggest export is what is grown here on our farms.

Everything the Trump Administration is talking about related to trade has the potential to have a big impact on local farmers. 

According to Dean Norton, an Elba dairy farmer and former president of the New York Farm Bureau, Trump's tack toward protectionism has already had an impact. When Trump canceled U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, New York farmers lost about $100 million in potential new revenue, Norton said.

"People don't understand that about 25 percent of what is produced locally is exported farm product," Norton said. "Exports and imports generally have a positive effect on the bottom line when it comes to trade."

Collins said he understands that agriculture is important to his district and he promises to represent those interests in Washington.

"There are a lot of ag issues and for many people when we talk about trade they think about cars and widgets and not about ag," Collins said. "I can promise you, I will be a voice at the table. I can't promise outcomes, but I can make sure the issues are on the table."

While Walmart and Target shoppers might find some electronics, clothing, and housewares more expensive during a trade war, supermarkets may not be able to stock some of our favorite foods. Besides the crops that can't be grown domestically, such as bananas and cocoa beans (at least in quantities sufficient to meet demand), many other crops are available out of season because they are grown in other countries, such as blueberries, lemons, watermelons and strawberries. 

"Consumers demand strawberries 12 months out of the year," noted Maureen Torrey, co-owner of Torrey Farms, but the only way we get strawberries in winter, she noted, is to import them from South America, primarily Chile.  

We import tomatoes and avocados from Mexico and Canada. California grows avocados but not enough to meet the current demand for guacamole.  

"The demand has gone through the roof," Torrey said.

Our tomatoes used to come from Florida, Torrey said, but after NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), much of that production shifted to our southern and northern neighbors.  

Asked if the United States could again produce tomatoes, Torrey said, "That goes hand-in-hand with the fact we don't have the labor anymore to grow these hand crops. There's a lot of factors that interact with these whole trade agreements."

Mexico is second only to Canada as foreign suppliers of food to U.S. consumers, much of it products that can be easily grown in America.

When the president talks about NAFTA (a deal he promised to renegotiate as soon as he took office, but has yet to act on) he's usually drawing his ire on Mexico, Trump and administration officials have indicated Canada need not worry about drastic changes to the trade deal, but local farmers have long-standing complaints about trade with Canada.

While you might think NAFTA would make it easier for WNY farmers to ship grain, dairy, and meat to our northern neighbors, the opposite is true, they say, yet the U.S. market is completely open to Canadian farmers. The Canadian government, they charge, even subsidizes shipments of agriculture products to Florida.

Norton said dairy farmers have been battling Canadian restrictions since 1996.  

Various Canadian agriculture programs provide price supports, import quotas and production caps on domestic dairies. Since most of these programs are provincial, rather than controlled by the Canadian federal government, the restrictions are beyond the reach of the World Trade Organization. U.S. dairy farmers are unable to file a complaint with the WTO.

"The dairy industry there doesn't want to compete with imports even though their dairy industry is dying," Norton said.

Trade is important to farmers because from $120 billion to $140 billion worth of the nation's agricultural output is shipped overseas, which is why farmers get very nervous about the idea of new trade barriers

Last year, all of CY Farms soybeans were sold overseas, said its CEO Craig Yunker, noting that trade is fundamentally important to agriculture because of the whole concept of comparative advantage. What one country grows well, another may not, so they're both better off trading with each other than trying to produce something that neither can do as well as a trading partner.

"A banana republic down there can't grow corn and we don't grow bananas," Yunker said.

Yunker agrees with Norton -- that it hurt U.S. farmers to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trade deals do more than open markets, he said, they set rules, allowing companies to compete on a level playing field. The rules deal with government subsidies, health and labor regulations and environmental concerns.

"All of these things were setting rules for a trading block and we helped set the rules," Yunker said. "We were able to do that because those other countries wanted access to our markets. Now China will put a trading block together and now China will set the rules."

China was not part of TPP, but keeping the Chinese market open to U.S. ag products is very important to farmers. As the Chinese economy grows, so does Chinese food consumption. Higher standards of living means people eat more meat, so the Chinese not only need more grain to feed themselves, they need it to feed their farm animals.

"They buy such a large amount of grain, just the thought of them shutting down would send a panic through world markets," Norton said. "Their billion and a half people are increasing lifestyle consumption so it's important that we're going to want to be at the table to provide some of those products for them. If we're not, some other countries are going to be and they will have no qualms about replacing the United States. Trade is a very dog-eat-dog world."

Russia and China have been improving trade relations over the past couple of years and recent Russia has become the world's largest wheat exporter.

That's significant, with or without new trade barriers, because grains are commodities and commodity pricing is impervious to protectionism. The only thing protectionism can do on commodity markets is make things more expensive.

For many products people buy and sell, a number of factors can determine the price. Quality, service, unique features, brand loyalty and other factors affect what people are willing to pay. But some products, known as commodities, don't have those differentiating features going for them. It all comes down to supply and demand. The greater the supply, the lower the demand, and then the lower the price. When supply drops and demand goes up, prices go up.  Commodity traders actually make their living placing financial bets on the trends in prices for commodities, which includes corn, wheat and soybeans.

Farmers don't set the price on commodity products they sell. The market does. That means trade barriers, or a rise in the value of the dollar, can make it much harder for domestic farmers to sell their crops overseas.  

As an example of the impact global markets can have on grain prices, Norton pointed to the recent history of corn. A couple of summers ago, the Midwest suffered a huge drought, hurting corn farms in those states. In WNY, we had plenty of rain and bumper corn crops. Local farmers took advantage of the weather patterns and planted more corn, but we still don't produce enough here to shift the world market. Corn prices hit record highs and local farmers reap bigger profits.

Last year, worldwide corn supplies rebounded and New York was hit with drought conditions, meaning less corn was grown here. As a whole, the New York ag industry suffered a $1 billion loss in 2016, according to the New York Farm Bureau.

"We are affected by what happens in Argentina, Brazil, China, all those things affect us one way or the other," Norton said.

CHART: Corn prices, 2007-2016

Previously:

March 26, 2017 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, trade policy, news.

China and robots

This is part three of an eight-part series on trade and how changes in policy might affect the local economy.

usmanufacturing2017.jpg

Times change, Congressman Chris Collins argues. He doesn't dispute that for the later half of the 20th century, a regime of trade agreements and more open trade worked well for the United States, but we no longer live in the same post-war world that forged those instruments of trade.

We face competition from China that presents a unique challenge to U.S. economic dominance, and automation is eating jobs the way tornadoes tear through trailer parks.

"We went from an agricultural economy to an industrial, production economy and now through automation, we have fewer jobs," Collins said.

We don't know the future, he said, but "where are these people going to work if we don't make stuff? We need to have opportunities that others don't have."

The American Dream (a term first coined by historian James Truslow Adams in 1931) is an ethos founded on the idea that we are a country that makes stuff.

We are builders. We are factories. We are smokestacks and train tracks and men with lunch buckets and lug wrenches. 

The perception that Trump campaigned on is that the American Dream ain't what it used to be. Economists disagree over whether that's true. While over the past 30 years a greater share of income earned has gone to the nation's richest 1 percent, there's evidence that suggests it's still possible for the poor and middle class to move up the economic ladder.

The balance between income inequality and economic mobility is a matter of debate. For those who perceive a problem, the question is who or what to blame.

Trump found ready targets in China and trade deficits.

"We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing," Trump said during his campaign. "It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world."

While campaign, Trump said the trade deficit with China was either $400 billion and $500 billion. For 2016, it was actually $347 billion.

Economists debate how much impact China has had on U.S. manufacturing jobs since the country of 1.4 billion people joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. On one hand, while the United States has lost five million manufacturing jobs since then, actual factory output has increased at the same time; however, the Economic Policy Institute reports that the rise of China as a global economic power has displaced 2.7 million workers, including 2.1 million in manufacturing. 

China may pose a different kind of challenge for the U.S. economy than we've faced before, but it isn't clear the Trump Administration has come up with a strategy beyond slapping tariffs on every Chinese import.

The big worry among economists is that Trump's rhetoric, let alone actual tariffs, will spark a trade war. The man Trump hired to oversee the National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, is regarded as being ideologically opposed to China.

Even though the local economy has few direct ties to China, how the country's trade policy goes with China will have an impact locally.

To the degree that trade with China matters in Genesee County, it matters more to consumers and farmers than manufacturers. For consumers, trade with China means money saved on gadgets and consumer products. For farmers, China is a big part of world consumption of food, especially grain, so even if local corn and soybeans are never shipped directly to China, the price farmers can get for these commodities is based on worldwide prices and the strength or weakness of the dollar. 

The manufacturers we interviewed said, for the most part, they don't trade much with China nor do products from China directly compete with their own products.

For Batavia-based Chapin Manufacturing Inc., the biggest worry is how China handles protection of intellectual property, according to CEO Jim Campbell.

"Individual companies in China ignore our U.S. patents so we have to defend them most vigorously," Campbell said. "We go head-to-head with China in the Pacific Rim area, mostly in Australia and New Zealand. China has a significant advantage in freight costs to these areas over us in Batavia."

Trade with China is minimal for Graham Corp., said Jeff Glajch, vice president and CFO for Graham Manufacturing in Batavia. There are some parts Graham imports from China, but it's not a significant piece of the business, he said.

If there were new trade barriers with China, it wouldn't have a major direct impact on Graham, he said.

"In the big basket of all the changes, I don’t think it would cause us significant harm," Glajch said.

Any new difficulty in trade with China might have a bigger impact on Liberty Pumps, but CEO Charlie Cook didn't express much concern, though he said it's still too soon to say what might be coming that will change foreign trade for his company. China has been an area of company growth, he said, with sales growth of about 12 percent, which is a bit higher than companywide growth.

When it comes to trade and China, one of the more interesting stories in local manufacturing is p.w. minor, a company with a 150-year local history that late in its history moved much of its production to China before nearly going out of business two years ago. Then Pete Zeliff and a partner bought the company's assets and Zeliff went to work repatriating that factory work to Batavia.

But the twist here is that one reason p.w. minor could start making all of its own shoes again is automation.  

And what Zeliff did isn't unique these days in American manufacturing. It's called "reshoring."

Three years ago, fewer than 100 companies were known to have reshored manufacturing, but it's been a growing trend. One of the more interesting recent examples was highlighted by CBS Evening News a couple of months ago -- a bicycle company that is owned by a Chinese billionaire.

Zeliff sees a future U.S. manufacturing sector that is large enough to accommodate a robust workforce, even if there are fewer jobs per square foot. Trade barriers will help make that happen, he said.

"We’ll still have jobs, more high-tech jobs to run and program and maintain these robots and things," Zeliff said. "We’ll have less low-tech jobs and more high-tech jobs."

That's a view of the future shared by Collins. If there are going to be fewer manufacturing jobs, all the more reason to make sure those jobs stay in the United States.

"Times do change," Collins said. "It's a different world we live in now."

GRAPHIC: The chart shows the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs since the 1940s while production output has continued to increase. Economists say this trend is the result of machines replacing more and more manual labor. It is a trend that accelerated in the 21st century as computers came to play a greater role in manufacturing.

Previously:

March 25, 2017 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, trade policy, economics, news.

Globalization

This is part two of an eight-part series on trade and how changes in policy might affect the local economy.

worldgdpchart.png

One of the more interesting characters President Donald J. Trump has brought into the White House is Stephen K. Bannon, a top advisor to Trump with the job title of Chief Strategist. 

Bannon is a former Navy officer, Wall Street financier, former chairman of Breitbart News, and a former Hollywood producer who derives some of his income from royalties on the TV series "Seinfeld." To his enemies, he is a white nationalist, a fascist, a Nazi, even though these are characterizations he rejects and the evidence to support the labels is suspect. He calls himself an "economic nationalist."

His epiphany came, he has said, during the 2008 financial crisis. His father lost $100,000 when he sold his AT&T stock (without consulting a financial advisor or anyone in his family). When Bannon observed the ability of Wall Street CEOs to walk away from the crisis unscathed while hardworking Americans such as his father were hurt, he was incensed. Bannon believed (and he's far from alone in this perception) that Wall Street tycoons perpetrated a fraud while profiting from the meltdown. 

The crisis set Bannon on the path of an economic ideology he believes will protect the working people of America from the elites of a globalized economy. When Bannon and Trump met, in many ways, they were soulmates. Without using the term, Trump was probably an economic nationalist before he decided to run for president.  

Trump doesn't call himself an economic nationalist. He just says, "We're going to put America first." That's an emotionally more powerful term that has resonated with voters.

If we're going to talk about trade over the next few days and understand how the Trump Administration's policies may change the economics of Genesee County, if not the entire world, it would be helpful to understand what Trump and Bannon believe and where that fits into the history of economics.

When Trump talks about putting America first, the message resonates with a subset of his supporters who are against globalization.

The word globalization means different things to different people. To nationalists, it seems to mean a process by which countries begin to surrender their sovereignty to international organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization and the World Court. To most economists, it means the world developing more tightly coupled economic ties and becoming more interdependent through trade with no need to trample national sovereignty.

The anti-globalist believe countries can best protect their sovereignty by restricting trade. That approach is called protectionism.

Many economists think the whole idea of protectionism was smashed by Adam Smith, the Scotsman who published "The Wealth of Nations" in 1776. "The Wealth of Nations" in a real sense marked the birth of economics as a course of study. Until Smith's monumental work, how trade worked was viewed through a lens of thinkers known as mercantilists. For the mercantilists, trade was a zero-sum game -- for every winner, there was a loser, for one side of a trade to gain, the other said had to fall behind. For that reason, mercantilists believed that governments needed to plan the trade of their countries and if necessary raise barriers to trade to protect homegrown production.

Smith said that simply isn't true. Smith argued that to force people to make at home what could be made more cheaply in another country was a waste of resources because the people doing less productive work could better spend their time doing things that made a greater contribution to the local economy. 

It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy. The tailor does not attempt to make his own shoes, but buys them of the shoemaker. The shoemaker does not attempt to make his own clothes, but employs a tailor. The farmer attempts to make neither the one nor the other, but employs those different artificers.

The best economy, according to Smith, is one where each person is free to maximize his own productivity. By laboring in one's own interest, Smith observed, people contribute to the greater public good though that is not their true intention. His famous phrase from this passage is "the invisible hand," or that which guides the whole economy toward greater good through a series of self-interested actions by individuals. 

That is the essence of the free market.

Economist David Ricardo would expand on this observation with his theory of comparative advantage. Ricardo argued that two nations benefit when each engaged in their greatest economic capacity and then trade the results of that output. Ricardo's example involves a bit of math, but basically if one country has an advantage over another in making both wine and cloth, but the greater advantage lies in wine, then the wine country should make wine and trade for cloth and the country weaker in both wine and cloth should make cloth and trade for wine. In this way, both countries are more productive together than each doing their own thing.

Comparative advantage comes right down to the county level and even the individual farm level, said Craig Yunker, CEO of CY Farms. If one farmer has better ground for raising cattle and another farmer has better land for grains, they would both be foolish to try to be in the cattle and grain business. They are better off putting most of their effort into cattle for one and grain for the other (even if they both do a little cattle or a little corn).

The same applies to international trade, Yunker said.

"There are factories that have been closed for 100 years," Yunker said. "They don't make buggy whips anymore. There are cars being made in Mexico, but the technology comes from the United States. There are probably more cars being sold worldwide because of the expansion of production and we all benefit."

The way Pete Zeliff sees it though is the United States has a lot of advantages that it can use to grow manufacturing regardless of what the rest of the world does. Zeliff, owner of p.w. minor and a member of the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors, points to our lower cost of chemicals and our lower cost of energy, especially since the birth of the shale gas industry. That will make the United States more competitive in manufacturing, he said.

"The price of natural gas will be below $4 for the next 30 years," Zeliff said. "That will make us the most competitive country in the world. We're energy independent with the lowest cost of energy in the world. We can source 85 percent (of inputs for manufacturing) right here. The rest of the world cannot."

Even with Smith pointing the way to the value of free trade, many world leaders couldn't shake the appeal of protectionist policies because the benefits of free trade are incrementally diffused over time and across populations while the occasional costs of free trade are more visible (see: The Fruits of Free Trade (pdf)).

The world got itself into a lot of trouble through protectionist policies in the early 20th century, with protectionism contributing to a worldwide depression and eventually a global war. That created a greater realization that developed nations needed to find ways to cooperate.

That led to The Bretton Woods Conference, held in 1944 in New Hampshire and attended by delegates from 44 Allied nations, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), signed in 1947.

Bretton Woods led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and of the organization that eventually became the World Bank (the late Barber Conable, Batavia's representative in Congress in the 1970s, became president of the World Bank in 1986). 

GATT governed trade among signatories until the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1993.

The roots of these agreements were planted by events of the previous 40 years. The chaos that followed World War I was predicted by economist John Maynard Keynes in his book the "Economic Consequences of Peace." Keynes foretold the harsh consequences of the Paris Peace Conference on Germany -- predicting it would lead to future chaos.

After the Great War, America, along with other nations became much more protectionistic, making it much harder for Germany's economy to recover from the devastating consequences of the peace treaty. While protectionism here and abroard didn't cause the Great Depression, most economists agree that the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 only made matters worse, deepening what was then only a recession and prolonging the depression. 

It was with that background that Keynes and other economists who joined the conference at Bretton Woods sought to promote a more open global market for trade and the flow of currency. 

Bretton Woods and subsequent agreements helped bring greater political and economic stability to world, but these consensus organizations have also long been the targets of anti-globalists, such as the John Birch Society, founded in 1958.

Those views remained in the minority in the 1950s and 1960s, when the U.S. economy expanded at an average rate of 6 percent a year, and even in the 1970s and 1980s, anti-globalism was largely a fringe movement.  

It became more of a leftist and anarchist cause early in the 21st century.

Most people on the right were fine with global trade until a few years ago. Then there was the 2008 financial crisis hitting right at a time when China, which joined the WTO in 2001, was becoming a bigger economic power.

CHART: Gross Domestic Product (a measure of an economy's wealth) on a per-person basis for each country in the world, showing relative wealth and percentage of world population.

Previously:

March 24, 2017 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, trade policy, news.

Introduction

This is part one of an eight-part series on trade and how changes in policy might affect the local economy.

employment_pop2017.png

At the top of his agenda, Donald J. Trump, told supporters while campaigning for president was that he would bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

"I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created," Trump said at one campaign rally.

How Trump goes about reshaping American trade policy will likely have a profound effect not just on the whole United States but also on us in Genesee County as farmers, business owners, executives, employees, and families. As America's economy goes, so goes Genesee County, so over the past few of weeks, The Batavian has interviewed several local business leaders to see how Trump's campaign rhetoric and what has emerged as his administration's policy during his first 100 days in office are shaping their views of our shared economic future.

The views range from a full embrace of Trump's "Make America Great Again" bravado to fearful skepticism that trade barriers and protectionism will lead to trade wars and ultimately financial ruin.

"I think Trump is going to be good for us in business," said Pete Zeliff, owner of p.w. minor in Batavia. "He's going to start leveling the playing field. The way trade deals have been done, the playing field isn't level. It's really hard to compete with people overseas. Their labor is so much less, so naturally, things cost less money. What Trump has talked about, leveling the playing field makes total sense to me."

Jeff Glajch, vice president and CFO for Graham Manufacturing in Batavia, said that with Graham exporting more than it imports -- about 40 percent of its sales are overseas -- he thinks some of the policies contemplated by Trump and the Republicans in Congress will not only be great for Graham, but great for America and great for Batavia. Graham employees nearly 300 people locally and Glajch, who remembers more manufacturers here 30 years ago, would like to see a resurgence in local manufacturing. 

"We're encouraged by anything that favors U.S. production because I think we've been unfavored for quite a while," Glajch said. "It would be nice to see that shift back in our direction a little bit. It would be great as a country."

On the campaign trail, Trump spoke frequently of increasing tariffs, tearing up trade deals such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and entering into a series of bilateral trade agreements (cutting deals with only one country at a time instead of deals that encompass several countries). To economists, that rhetoric sounds a lot like protectionism, and that's a dirty word to those who favor free trade.

Craig Yunker, CEO of CY Farms, said he favors free trade and is fearful of what Trump's disruption of international trade norms might do to the local and national economy. 

"The issue I have with people who talk about trade as a zero-sum game is that trade is a win-win game," Yunker said. "It's a very positive thing. It leads to higher incomes for both parties if done right."

"The issue," he added, "is that when we look at the percent of the pie we get rather than the size of the pie. We see a smaller piece of the pie, but the economy has expanded. The issue of the anti-trade mentality is to look at 'what is my share of the pie?' and the free-trade mentality and a more pro-growth mentality is 'let's grow a bigger pie.' "

Rep. Chris Collins, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump for president, said Trump's trade policies, and the policies he's pursuing in Congress with fellow Republicans, are unapologetically protectionist.

"Absolutely," he said.

Collins said he's concerned about the people who have lost factory jobs. They aren't the kind of people who are going to become rocket scientists, he said, or researchers. When they can't find a job, they become depressed, and too often they wind up in service-sector jobs at lower wages.

"We need to make stuff and give people an opportunity to make a good living who have a high school (diploma) or a community college degree," Collins said.

Top graphic: The graphic shows the number of people employed as a percentage of the U.S. population. As you can see, prior to the 2001 recession, the number hit 81.6 percent. It climbed back up to 80 percent prior to the 2008 recession and has been climbing for the past five years hitting 78 percent at the start of 2017.

March 23, 2017 - 6:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news.

While the State of New York is reporting its lowest unemployment rate in a decade, at 4.4 percent, Genesee County saw a slight uptick in its year-over-year unemployment rate, according to data released today by the Department of Labor.

The local rate is 5.8 percent. A year ago in February, it was 5.6 percent.

The state records 21,900 jobs in the county. This the third straight year the total number of jobs for February in the county hit 21,900. The highest February number over the past three decades was 22,400 in 2008.

Even at 5.8 percent, the jobless count is still lower than it has been over the past several years. with the exception of last year. The lowest local rate for February was recorded at 4.7 percent in 2001.

The February unemployment rate for the nation is reported at 4.7 percent.

A key indicator of the overall national employment picture is the prime-age percentage of the population in the workforce. It fell to 75 percent at the depths of the recession in 2010 and 2011. In February it hit its highest level since the recovery, 78.3 percent. Prior to the 2002 recession, it was as high as 82 percent.

The other interesting study that came out today, related to the national economy, is a report on what are called "deaths of despair" -- people dying of suicide, alcoholism or drugs, which rose dramatically among middle-aged whites from 2000 to 2014. According to the map, Genesee County was one of the few areas in the country that didn't see an increase in that statistic.

March 7, 2017 - 10:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, jobs, business, Darien.

Press release:

The region’s largest seasonal employer is looking to fill 1,800 open positions across its multiple departments, including amusement park, water park, lodging, entertainment, retail and food service.

Darien Lake has already begun accepting applications for the upcoming season with some positions starting as early as April. The park will open for the 2017 season on May 6 with full, daily operations beginning June 15.

Darien Lake will be hosting an open job fair at the Park’s Lodge on the Lake Hotel on Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about the job fair and the types of positions available, visit www.darienlake.com/jobs.  

Interviews for the following positions will be held during the job fair: food service, park services, games, admissions, ride operations, lifeguards, rentals, warehouse, retail, hotel/campground, attractions, and security officers. Representatives from the Darien Lake Amphitheater, run by Live Nation, will also be at the fair to discuss seasonal opportunities.

“We’re seeking friendly, ambitious applicants of all backgrounds who are interested in helping us create memorable experiences for our guests,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. “While we look forward to meeting our new team members, we are also thrilled to welcome back more than 800 rehires every year, filling a total of more than 2,000 positions.”

Special Perks and Benefits

·       Free Admission to the Park – An employee ID is equal to a 2017 Darien Lake season pass. Come as often as you like, free of charge!

·       Free Park Tickets for Friends & Family -- Where else can you work and earn free tickets to Darien Lake? Share the fun with your friends and family all season long.

·       Opportunities to Advance -- Our team members are on a fast track to success. With so many great opportunities, both new and returning employees can take on new challenges and develop their leadership skills.

·       Great Resume Building Experience -- Darien Lake offers great experience for future business leaders. Understand your labor force, how to manage inventory and interact with guests, all under the sun and in a place that’s all about fun.

Interested applicants can apply online at www.DarienLake.com/jobs or call the Darien Lake Job Line at 585-599-5108

January 25, 2017 - 5:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, news.

The unemployment rate in Genesee County for December was 4.9 percent, exactly as it was a year earlier.

The GLOW area unemployment rate remained steady at 5.3 percent.

The state rate dropped from 4.7 percent to 4.5 percent year-over-year.

There were 22,900 jobs reported in Genesee County for December, the same as it was a year before.

The Department of Labor reports 27,700 people living in Genesee County with jobs and 1,400 who are looking for work.

October 26, 2016 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, news, business.

Genesee County's unemployment rate continues to say in the low 4-percent range, according to the latest figures from the state's Department of Labor.

The September 2016 rate was 4.2 percent, compared to 4.1 percent a year earlier. 

There are 29,000 Genesee County residents with jobs, out of a labor force of 30,400. The labor force participation a year ago was 30,200.

Total non-farm jobs in Genesee County for September was reported at 23,500. A year ago, 23,600 non-farm jobs were reported in the county.

August 25, 2016 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, unemployment, economy, business.

Genesee County's unemployment rate last month was at its lowest level for July since 2006, hitting 4.0, lower by sixth-tenths of a percent from July of last year.

In 2006, the rate was 4.0 and the last time it was lower was in 2001, at 3.7 percent. The highest rate over the past decade was 7.5 percent in 2012.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 5.1 percent and for New York State it is 5.0.

In June for Genesee County, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. June's rate locally is usually the same or lower than July.

The county's labor participation total -- the number of people working or actively looking for work is 30,800. A year ago it was 31,400. The highest level this century was 34,800 in 2008.

The unemployment rate for the GLOW region is 4.5 percent, down from 5.2 percent a year ago.

In the Rochester area, the unemployment rate is 4.7 percent. It's 4.9 percent in the Buffalo area.

August 19, 2016 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, employment, economy.

There were a reported 23,900 jobs in Genesee County in July, according to the NYS Department of Labor. That figure is 100 jobs below the number of a year ago in July.

Overall, New York added 131,000 jobs year over year. The Buffalo area added 4,400 jobs and Rochester added 700 jobs.

The region's unemployment rates for July have not yet been released.

At the start of the recession in 2008, the July report for Genesee County tallied 24,600. That number fell as low as 23,000 in 2013.

Goods-producing jobs in Genesee County held steady year over year, but service-producing jobs in the county fell from 19,900 to 19,800. Government jobs also fell from 5,500 to 5,400. Education and Health Services gained 100 jobs, going from 2,700 to 2,800.

In the past week, a handful of local business owners have told The Batavian they are finding it hard to find qualified candidates for open positions.

June 22, 2016 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, employment, business.

The unemployment rate for Genesee County fell to 3.8 percent in May, the lowest level for any monthly period since August, 2008.

The rate is a full percentage point lower than last May. 

The number of residents with jobs is 29,300, up from 29,100 from a year ago, while the number of participants in the labor force dropped from 30,600 a year ago to 30,400 this May.

As for the number of non-farm jobs in the county, we've gone from 23,700 to 23,800 from May last year to May this year.

The GLOW region unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, from 5.3 percent a year ago. It hasn't been lower in the region since August 2007, when it was 4.2 percent.

April 20, 2016 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, business.

The Genesee County unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in March, the lowest rate so far this year and lower than the 6.2 percent of March 2015.

The rate was 5.5 in February and 5.7 in January.

For the entire GLOW region, the unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, down from 6.7 percent a year ago.

The state rate is 5.2 percent.

On the jobs side, there were 22,100 non-farm positions reported in Genesee County for March, compared to 22,000 a year ago. 

The state's labor force participation rate, which had been in steep decline starting in 2009 has shown consistent increases over the past three or four months and is now 63 percent. A decade ago, it hovered around 66 percent. 

The labor force participation rate measures all people age 16 and older who either hold jobs or are looking for jobs.

Genesee County's labor force is reported as 29,900. It was 29,500 in March 2015; 32,800 in 2008. The lowest point for March over the past decade was last year.

January 28, 2016 - 7:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy.

There were 800 more residents of Genesee County with jobs in December 2015 than there were in December 2014, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Labor.

The county's unemployment rate for December was 4.8, 7/10ths of a percentage point better than last year, but 2/10ths higher than November.

The number of jobless claims fell year-over-year by 200, from 1,600 to 1,400.

There are 28,300 residents with jobs, compared to 27,400 a year ago.

As for the total number of filled non-farm jobs in Genesee County, the number held steady year-over-year at 22,600. It was 22,700 in November.

The unemployment rate for the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) is 5.1 percent. It was 6 percent a year ago and 7.1 percent at the start of 2015.

December 22, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in employment, jobs, business.

Genesee County's November unemployment percentage hit its lowest rate in nearly a decade, according to data released today by the Department of Labor.

The November rate was 4.6, which is better than the 5.1 rate a year ago, and better than the 8.5 rate at the height of the recession in 2009.

The rate in 2006 was 4.1 and it was 4.7 in 2007.

The October 2015 rate was 4.2. The November rate is traditionally higher than the October rate.

There are 200 more Genesee County residents employed in 2015 than a year ago, with 28,200 reportedly having jobs.

The GLOW region unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, compared to 5.6 percent a year ago.

There are 22,700 non-farm jobs in the county, compared to 22,900 a year ago and 23,200 in October.

November 25, 2015 - 5:38pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Genes County, economy, jobs.

Genesee County workers have something to be thankful for this season.

The unemployment rate — and the number of county residents without jobs — are both down, thanks in part, perhaps, to robust job creation in the Buffalo and Rochester regions.

Genesee County’s unemployment rate fell from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent from October 2014 to October 2015, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

The Labor Department said there were 29,000 people with jobs in Genesee County, an increase of .2 percent from the 28,800 reported in 2014.

A total of 1,300 county residents are without jobs. That represents a decrease of .1 percent, or 100 people, between October 2014 and this year, the Labor Department said.

Jobless numbers were reported down in every county statewide. Unemployment in the Buffalo-Niagara region was 4.8 percent (down from 5.4 percent in October 2014), while the five-county Rochester region rate was 4.5 percent (down from 5.1 percent).

Unemployment rate figures are not seasonally adjusted, the Labor Department cautioned, meaning they do not reflect hiring related to holidays or the weather. Year-to-year comparisons are considered valid.

Between September and October 2015, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 5.1 percent to 4.8 percent, its lowest level since 2007.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department on Tuesday said the state’s private sector job count increased by 168,600 from October 2014 to October 2015. The number of private sector jobs in New York state was a record 7,859,000.

The Buffalo-Niagara Falls and Rochester metro areas were among the top five in the state for private sector job growth.

Rochester added 8,400 private sector jobs between October 2015 and October 2014, an increase of 1.9 percent. Buffalo-Niagara falls added 8,700, an increase of 1.8 percent.

At the same time, Genesee County lost 200 private sector and government jobs, according to the Labor Department. That represents a decrease of .9 percent.

New York’s strengthening economy reflects the national outlook. U.S. economic growth during the third quarter was revised up to 2.1 percent, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The U.S. Commerce Department had previously reported a rate of 1.5 percent, the Times said.

The news pleased economists:

For all of 2015, the rate of economic growth is expected to be about 2.5 percent, not much different from the 2.4 percent rate in 2014.

The tepid pace prompted Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, to call this the “tortoise recovery” in a recent note to clients. But that sobriquet does not mean the economy has been uniformly lackluster.

“While this expansion may go uncelebrated, growth in fact has been good enough to achieve a great deal of cumulative progress in the labor market,” he added. “We now expect that the U.S. economy will reach full employment within the next 12 months — the ‘tortoise recovery’ looks to be approaching the finishing line.”

October 21, 2015 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, jobs, employment.

The slight bump in Genesee County's unemployment rate for September over August can be attributed to people leaving the workforce, said Scott Gage, director of the Job Bureau.

The local labor market remains tight, with an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

The local trend holds statewide, Gage said.

"The labor force went down by 81,000 people (statewide)," Gage told WBTA. "Some 55,000 people retired, the other 21,500 either are going back to school or left just because their summer job ended."

There were 700 people in Genesee County who chose to leave the workforce at the end of the summer.

The 4.4 percent rate is still three-tenths of a percentage point than a year ago and much improved over the 5.9 percent rate in 2013 or the 7.1 percent rate in September 2012.

Employers continue to report they're finding it difficult to fill open positions and help wanted signs dot the landscape locally.

The NYS Labor Department reports 23,100 non-farm jobs in Genesee County, down for the 23,800 in August and down from the 23,400 in September 2014. Government jobs have dropped by 300 year-over-year while goods-producing jobs and private-sector service jobs have held steady at 4,100 and 13,500, respectively.

"We're seeing job openings across all sectors," Gage said. "Manufacturing, retail, service jobs, health care. There are job openings."

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.

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

Upcoming

Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button