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April 2, 2014 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, jobs, unemployment.

While Genesee County's unemployment rate is lower than a year ago for February, it is slightly higher than January and remains higher than the 12-month low.

The Labor Department reports the county's rate for February was 7.5 percent. A year earlier it was 8.6 percent and a month earlier it was 7.3 percent. The 12-month low is  5.7 percent in August.

The state's rate is 7.7 percent, down from 8.6 percent a year ago.

The rate in Livingston County is 7.2 percent, 10.2 in Orleans and 9.1 in Wyoming.

July 23, 2013 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, unemployment.

Genesee County unemployment rate held steady in the month of June at 6.2 percent, matching May's rate and lower than the 7.4-percent rate a year ago, according to figures released today by NYS Department of Labor.

Genesee County continues to maintain the lowest rate in the GLOW region, with Orleans at 8.4 percent, Livingston at 7 percent and Wyoming at 7.1 percent.

The Rochester-area rate is 7.0 and the Buffalo-area rate is at 7.4 percent.

The state's rate is 7.6 percent and the U.S. rate is 7.8 percent.

May 21, 2013 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, unemployment.

Even with the opening of Alpina and the ramp up of Muller Quaker in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, Genesee County lost 300 jobs year-over-year for April, according to data released by the NYS Department of Labor.

Even so, the unemployment rate for the county dropped to 7.1 percent, the lowest April since 2008, when the county's unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

The April 2012 rate was 7.6 percent.

The total number of non-farm jobs in the county hit 21,900 for April 2013, compared to 22,200 in April 2012.

The data does show an increase in jobs from March 2013 when the job count was 21,700.

The unemployment rate in March 2013 was 8.0 percent.

The state's unemployment rate is 7.3 percent, which is an improvement over the previous month and as well as a year ago.

The national unemployment rate is 7.1 percent.

In Orleans County, the unemployment rate is 9.3 and it's 7.8 percent in Livingston and 8.3 percent in Wyoming.

June 23, 2010 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, genesee county, business, economy, unemployment.

Genesee County's unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in May, four points lower than May 2009, and five points lower than April.

Batavia's unemployment rate is the best its been since November, 2008, when the rate was 6.0.

The official numbers confirm anecdotal evidence of an improving employment picture provided last week by Scott Gage, director of the Genesee County Career Center.

The positive trend is ahead of the curve for New York State, which saw only a one point improvement in the job picture, with the state going from 8.4 to 8.3 year-over-year.

Genesee County is also faring better than all of the surrounding counties, which continue to have unemployment rates of at least 7 percent, with Wyoming and Orleans counties above 8 percent.

The Buffalo area's 7.6 percent unemployment rate is the best it's been since December 2008, when the rate was 6.8 percent. Rochester's rate of 7.3 percent is also a big improvement over the previous 16 months.

June 17, 2010 - 8:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, unemployment.

The economy seems to be turning around, according to Scott Gage, director of the Genesee County Career Center.

New job orders -- companies posting jobs at the career center -- are up to 80 to 90 a week, nearly double what job orders were last year.

And there are fewer people showing up for the center's weekly unemployment orientation classes.

"Obviously a lot of it is seasonal and service sector jobs, such as Darien Lake, but there is also some manufacturing being done, and some of the food processing people are actually increasing the number of year-around lines, too," Gage said.

He also said there are more supervisor-level jobs coming in.

Gage shared his news during the Ways and Means Committee meeting.

Legislator Ed Dejaneiro added his own anecdotal evidence of a turn-around.

“I received a call yesterday from a guy who has been unemployed for two years, and he just got a job, in Batavia," Dejaneiro said. "A good paying job."

The state's official employment numbers should be out next week.

April 7, 2010 - 9:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, Jobs Development Bureau.

Four people who are charged with helping unemployed workers get back on their feet are now looking for jobs themselves.

Today, the Ways and Means committee authorized the elimination of two full-time and two part-time jobs with the Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

The layoffs were necessary because of cutbacks in state funding for the program.

"If those funds are replenished and restored to the county, we would certainly look at reinstating those jobs," said Ways and Means Chairman Hollis Upson.

The two full-time jobs are employment and training counselors. One job was eliminated effective April 1. The other position terminates April 21.

The other positions eliminated were part-time clerk-typist positions.

The layoffs reduce the county budget by $76,990.

The Job Development Bureau will, however, continue to provide services to the area's unemployed.

“This is just a shrinking of staff," Upson said. "The same services will still be available, the same contacts are there, the same liaisons between the Department of Labor, Genesee Community College, local employers, are all still there."

Genesee County's unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, and recently as many as 100 local residents who have been unemployed for 99 weeks or more started losing benefits.

The resolution authorizing elimination of the positions must still be approved by the full legislature.

April 1, 2010 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment.

For many New Yorkers who lost their jobs near the start of the recession nearly two years ago, this could be a terrifying week.

Unemployment benefits cannot be extended past 99 weeks, and for 46,000 New Yorkers, those 99 weeks are up.

Figures for how many Genesee County residents might be effected are not immediately available, but the Democrat and Chronicle reports that 2,100 Rochester-area residents will be losing their benefits this week.

In each of the following weeks, more and more people will see their benefits expire.

Last year, Congress extended the previous 26 weeks of benefits to 99 weeks, but officials are not expecting another extension.

State Labor officials are encouraging people who are losing benefits to visit the state's "My Benefits" site and complete a five-minute self-assessment of income and family situation to determine what other government aid might be available.

Potential assistance includes food stamps, health benefits, school lunch programs and other government programs.

Officials are also encouraging unemployed workers to reach out to job centers in the state, such as the one on East Main in Batavia, which can help with job-search tasks.

The latest figures from the Department of Labor put Genesee County's unemployment rate at 9.1 percent. The state's rate is 9.3 percent, while the rate nationally is 10.4 percent.

UPDATE: Jeanne Ianita, business services representative for the Department of Labor in Batavia, called with the local numbers.  On the week ending March 28, 98 people in Genesee County lost their benefits. Over the next three weeks, unemployment payments will stop for another 19 people.

Below is a video produced by the State Department of Labor:

February 4, 2010 - 2:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, Mike Ranzenhofer, career center, unemployment.


Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer (R-61) wants to give New York businesses that hire from the ranks of the unemployed a $3,000 tax credit.

Ranzenhofer announced his proposed legislation today in Batavia at the Genesee County Career Center on East Main Street.

"It's a win, win, win situation," Ranzehofer said. "It helps people who are looking for work. It's good for employers. But it's also good for the economy."

Under the proposal, New York businesses that hire a person currently drawing unemployment benefits will get a $3,000 tax break.

There are currently 300,000 people out of work, Ranzenhofer said, and among those drawing unemployment, they are getting checks averaging $314 per week. Razenhofer said his proposed tax credit will pay for itself in 10 weeks with cost savings on unemployment benefits.

Unemployment benefits can be drawn for two years.

Ranzenhofer also said that by putting more people back to work, those people will have more money to spend, generating more tax revenue for the state.

While the tax incentive itself may not spur some employers to hire -- challenged as they are by other expenses, from health insurance, taxes and the cost of equipment upgrades -- the tax credit may be just what it takes to get other businesses to add new positions.

"To do nothing and not give them this kind of incentive, when it doesn't cost us any money, is not a good thing," Ranzenhofer said.

While it would be better to lower the tax burden on New York businesses, Ranzenhofer said, "I don't see that happening this year."

Scott Gage, executive director of the jobs center, praised the legislation.

"This is going to be an opportunity for people who have retooled their skills during this economic downturn to be hired and maybe they would have got that opportunity if not for the resources created by this tax credit," Gage said.

November 20, 2009 - 9:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, unemployment.

Genesee County's jobless rate continues to be a bit better than New York as a whole, but that's only looking at the glass as half full.

From the half-empty perspective, there were more people unemployed in Genesee County in October than there were in September.

The county's rate inched up from 7.1 percent to 7.3 percent.  (full data from the state here)

Meanwhile, the state rate climbed to 9 percent.

The even less rosy number is the jump over the past year for Genesee County from a 5.2 percent unemployment rate to the current 7.3 percent.

September 9, 2009 - 12:37pm
posted by Jeff Allen in jobs, unemployment.

I wanted to squeeze this in before the Presidents address to Congress tonight on healthcare because of the difference a long holiday weekend makes in news cycles.   In early August the July unemployment statisitcis were released and the unemployemnt rate slipped from 9.5% to 9.4% and the White House and the media hailed it as proof the impact the stimulus package was having on our economy.  The fact that "only" 247,000 jobs were lost as compared to an average rate of 331,000 in previous months was touted as progress, the "less bad" is actually "good" mantra.  Fast forward to the August jobs report with the unemployment rate surging to 9.7% and "only" 216,00 jobs lost............that sound is is the crickets in the mainstream media newsrooms and the White House press briefing room.

When we compound the monthly numbers, can we look past the spin and simplify the jobs crisis and say that  the companies that are still running are bottomed out?  That there are simply not that many more jobs TO LOSE before they are forced to ask for a bailout or close their doors.  Why is the 9.7% unemployment rate not sounding more alarms?  Or are we going to let ourselves be distracted by the healthcare debate, the school speech, and any other story that takes our eyes off the crippling economy?

March 6, 2009 - 8:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment.

WBTA reports this morning:

  • Unemployment hit 9.1 percent in Genesee County, up from 6.7 percent a year ago.
  • A knife-wielding suspect threatened two Batavia police officers this morning. Ryan Shumway, 29, was taken into custody after the confrontation, in which Shumway was told several times to drop the knife before he did.

Tune into WBTA 1490-AM for these and other stories throughout the day.



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