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August 23, 2022 - 7:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, unemployment, economy, news.

There were 30,500 Genesee County residents reported in the labor force for July, according to state data released today, up from 29,400 a year ago and down by 100 from June.

July marks the third straight month that Genesee County's labor force -- the number of people either working or seeking work -- has topped 30,000. The labor force was typically over 30,000 in the several months before the pandemic struck.

The unemployment rate for July is pegged at 3 percent, lower than a year ago when it was 4.3 percent. The rate in June was 2.8 percent.

In both July and June, 900 people were listed as unemployed, according to the Labor Department data. In July 2021, there were 1,300 people unemployed.

The state's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent for July compared to 7.1 percent a year ago.

May 26, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, news.

Genesee County's unemployment rate of 2.8 percent in April is the lowest early spring rate on record and just a tick higher than the previous low of any time of year -- higher than reported in December when it was 2.7 percent.

A year ago in April, the rate was 4.6 percent. 

The pre-pandemic low for April was 3.1 percent in 2019.

The NYS Labor Department reports 29,500 Genesee County residents are in the labor force, up from 28,900 a year ago and two hundred workers more than a month earlier.

According to the reported data, there are 800 county residents looking for work.  A year ago, there were 1,300 residents listed as unemployed.

The labor department also reports 22,300 non-farm jobs in Genesee County, up from 21,500 in April a year ago.

There are 17,100 private sector jobs compared to 16,400 a year ago.  There are now 5,100 government jobs in the county, which is 100 more than a year ago.

 

January 21, 2022 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news.

There were 200 more private-sector jobs in Genesee County than in December than in the previous December according to data released by the NYS Department of Labor.

The county went from 15,800 private-sector jobs in the county a year ago to 16,000 in December 2021.

The county added goods-producing and professional and business service jobs, according to the data.

Meanwhile, the total number of government jobs dropped by 5,300 to 5,200.

The entire state added more than 45,000 new jobs in December.

June 22, 2021 - 5:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

The labor market in Genesee County continued to tighten in May the number of people in the job market without a job dropped by 200 from the previous month.

In May 2021 in Genesee County, there were 1,200 people in the labor force without jobs according to NYS Labor Department data.

The unemployment rate is 4.2 percent, or similar to May 2017, when it was 4.3 percent. In May 2019, the rate was 3.2 percent. Last year, three months into the coronavirus pandemic, it was 11.1 percent.

Meanwhile, there are 1,057 open job positions listed with the Job Bureau in Genesee County, according to Director Teresa VanSon.

Also according to the state, there are 21,000 non-farm jobs that are filled in Genesee County, up 1,700 from 19,300 May 2020. The total private-sector jobs jumped from 14,200 to 15,900 year-over-year. Government jobs remained unchanged at 5,100.

May 25, 2021 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, unemployment, news, economy, business.

The local unemployment rate hit its lowest level of 2020 so far in April at 5 percent, more than 10 percentage points what it was in the previous April, the worst month locally for the job market during the coronavirus pandemic.  

The 5-percent rate is still a point-and-a-half or so above the 3.6-percent rate of April 2019.

Outside of the 15.9-percent rate of a year ago, the highest rate for an April over the past 31 years was 7.6 percent in 2012.

The Labor Department reports 27,900 people in Genesee County's labor force, which is the aggregate of everybody employed and everybody seeking work. Of those, 26,500 have jobs and 1,400 are looking for jobs.

The March 2021 unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

The state's unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.

December 23, 2020 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, economy.

Genesee County's unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in November, still a percentage point higher than a year ago, but a bit better than it was with October's 5.0 percent rate.

There are 27,000 county residents with jobs. There were 28,400 a year ago in November and 26,800 in October of this year.

There are 1,300 people actively seeking employment compared to 1,100 a year ago and 1,300 last month.

November 27, 2020 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news.

The unemployment rate in Genesee County was 5.1 percent for October according to the New York Department of Labor.

That's up from 3.4 percent in October 2019 and 4.7 percent in September.

There are 28,300 county residents in the labor force, down from 29,700 a year ago.

There are 400 more people in the labor force without jobs, jumping from 1,000 in 2019 to 1,400 this year.

The GLOW region unemployment rate is 5.2 percent, up from 3.6 percent a year ago.

October 10, 2020 - 4:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news.

While the size of Genesee County's labor force shows a significant drop for August, some of this explained by normal seasonal fluctuations, says Tammy Marino, a labor analyst for the Department of Labor.

The labor force expands in the summer with students taking on jobs and for the season. This year, many college-age workers returned to campuses earlier than usual.

The August labor force for Genesee County was 29,800, down from 30,300 the month before, and down from 30,200 the year before.

Marino noted that the August number is close to the spring number. In May, the local labor force contained 29,500 workers.

There are also people who have dropped out of the labor force for various reasons, Marino said.

"There are many factors that influence people’s decision to (not) participate in the labor force," Marino said. "No child care, fear of the virus, a need to take care of a sick relative, etc. Also, long-term trends come into play here as well, a general aging of the population overall has resulted in a shrinking labor force in recent years."

There are 27,400 people with jobs living in the county, down from 29,200 a year ago. There are 2,400 people who are out of work but looking for an appropriate job, up from 1,000 a year ago.

That puts the August unemployment rate at 8.1 percent. In August of 2019, it was 3.5 percent.

Since the start of the pandemic the monthly unemployment rate has been:

  • April: 14.4 percent
  • May: 10.1 percent
  • June: 9.5 percent
  • July: 10.5 percent
  • August: 8.1 percent

The September estimate has not yet been released.

April 21, 2020 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in COVID-19, news, jobs, economy.

In what may be the last snapshot of the employment picture in Genesee County before pandemic shutdowns hit local businesses, the local unemployment rate had already ticked up year-over-year for March from 4.7 percent to 5.2 percent.

The Department of Labor released statewide statistics today with a note indicating the household census of employment was taken at the beginning of March before most "nonessential" businesses were ordered to close or modify operations.

In that survey, 27,500 residents of Genesee County had jobs in a labor force of 29,000 people, with 1,500 residents seeking employment.

Through the rest of March, the Department of Labor reported a record number of jobless claims. It will be another month before we receive revised employment stats. Economists are estimating the national unemployment rate may now be as high as 32 percent.

In response to the high jobless claims, Congress passed legislation that: authorized $1,200 payments to most Americans; increased unemployment payments by $600 a week; and authorized $350 million in loans to small businesses that have suffered losses due to the pandemic primarily for payroll purposes.

The loans, if standards are met, could be converted into grants. The Senate is expected to vote today on a new stimulus package that would add nearly $500 million to the Payroll Protection Program.

March 20, 2020 - 9:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, news, jobs, economy, COVID-19, notify.

Yesterday, Mike Pettinella reported on the high volume of requests for assistance the state's unemployment offices are receiving for benefits.

Today, spokeswoman Deanna Cohen provided an update:

Yesterday we received 532,000+ site visits from New Yorkers filing UI claims.

Today we received 475,000+ calls.

Our dedicated staff is doing the best they can and are committed to serving every single person, no matter how long it takes.

January 6, 2020 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economics, economy, news, notify.

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At $821, the average weekly earnings of a Genesee County resident is on the lower end of wages paid in New York and well below the national average of $1,095 and the New York State average of $1,347.

It's also lower than the other GLOW counties: Livingston, $859; Orleans, $891; Wyoming, $885.

Downstate counties and Albany are where the state's highest wage earners are, of course, with New York City workers earning $2,109 per week on average.

Erie County's average is $986. Monroe County is $1,009.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (a federal agency), "Forty-two of New York’s 44 counties with employment below 75,000 had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,095. Steuben ($1,127) and Schenectady ($1,115) were the exceptions. Yates and Hamilton counties reported the lowest average weekly wages at $690 and $691, respectively."

September 26, 2019 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, economy, news.

The August unemployment rate for Genesee County was 3.5 percent, according to the state's Department of Labor, up 2/10ths of a percent from the previous August.

While up slightly, it's still well below the recession peak of 7 percent in 2012 and below this year's highest rate of 5 percent in February.

The state reports there are 30,100 local residents in the labor force, unchanged from a year ago.

Also unchanged is the 29,100 people counted as employed year-over-year. (Working the calculation backward to find the difference between a 3.3 percent and a 3.5 percent unemployment rate would yield 1,050 people, approximately, seeking work who haven't found it. The state releases only round numbers for workforce participation).

There was also an uptick in the state's unemployment rate -- from 4.0 percent to 4.2 percent.

The nation's unemployment rate dipped from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent.

There were 200 few jobs being filled by workers in Genesee County in August, dropping from 23,900 in August 2018 to 23,700 this year. The decrease in 200 jobs was split equally between the private sector and the government.

March 18, 2019 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, economy, news, notify.

While Genesee County's unemployment rate jumped to 5.0 percent in January it was still a point-and-a-half lower than a year earlier for the same month.

The Department of Labor released the county's unemployment rate on Friday.

January's unemployment rate is traditionally one of the highest rates of any month in the year and last year it was 6.4 percent.

In December, the local rate was 4.1 percent.

There were 30,000 local residents reported in the labor force for January of this year compared to 29,500 the previous January.

Of those 30,000, 28,500 had jobs compared to 27,600 with jobs the previous year.

The number reported without work but seeking employment dropped from 1,900 to 1,500.

As for the number of private-sector jobs in the county, there were 16,300 reported in January compared to 16,200 the previous year.

January 25, 2019 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

The unemployment rate in Genesee County for December was 4.1 percent, according to the New York Department of Labor, which is lower than the December 2017 rate of 5.3 percent.

The rate in November was 3.5 percent.

There are 1,000 more people in the labor force in Genesee County for December, at 30,100, compared to 29,100 a year ago.

Of those 30,100 people, 28,900 reported having jobs.

There are 1,200 people listed as unemployed. That's 300 fewer than a year ago.

There were 16,200 private sector, non-farm jobs reported in Genesee County for December, up 100 jobs from the previous December. Government jobs in the county fell from 5,800 to 5,700.

The unemployment rate for the GLOW region in December was reported at 4.2 percent, down from 5.6 percent a year ago.

The state's unemployment rate is 3.8 percent. The nation's is 3.7 percent.

December 27, 2018 - 3:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

Genesee County's unemployment rate was a point and a half lower in November than it was in the previous November, dropping from 5 percent to 3.5 percent.

The state's online records for monthly unemployment rates only goes back to 1990 and in that span, the November rate has never been lower, though it was 3.8 percent in 2000.

The state reports that 29,000 people in Genesee County have jobs, compared to 27,000 a year ago. There are 30,000 people in the local labor force.

The state's unemployment rate is 3.5 percent and was 4.4 percent a year ago. The GLOW region's rate is 3.4 percent, down from 5.2 percent a year ago.

For November, 22,300 non-farm jobs are reported based in Genesee County, compared to 22,200 a year ago. Total private sector jobs has grown from 16,400 to 16,600.

November 23, 2018 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, employment, news, economy, notify.

There was robust private-sector job growth in Genesee County in October, according to recent statistics from the NYS Department of Labor, with 200 new jobs.

There are a reported 16,700 jobs in Genesee County compared to 16,500 a year ago.

The total number of jobs in the county, including government jobs, is 22,400, with the government sector losing 100 jobs year-over-year.

Average quarterly wages for all sectors increased from 2017 to 2018 in the second quarter from $9,921 to $10,107. Third quarter wage reports are not yet available.

The Genesee County unemployment rate is 3.3 percent for October 2018, matching the September unemployment rate but an improvement over the 4.5 percent rate of 2017.

Unemployment is a measurement of the number of county residents who are actively seeking employment divided by the total number of people considered part of the labor force (the employed and people seeking employment).

The county's labor force is 29,500, down from 30,400 the previous month but up from 29,100 the prior year.

The total number of employed Genesee County residents, working anywhere in the region, is 28,600, down from 29,400 a month ago but up from 27,700 the prior year.

One thousand people are listed as unemployed, unchanged from the prior month a 300 fewer than a year ago.

The unemployment rate for GLOW is 3.3 percent, down from 3.4 the previous month and 4.7 percent a year ago.

The state's unemployment rate dropped from 3.8 to 3.6 month-over-month and from 4.4 the prior month.

The nation's unemployment rate is 4 percent.

September 26, 2018 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

For the first time since 2007, the August unemployment rate for Genesee County is below 4 percent, hitting 3.5 percent this August.

The rate hasn't been that low or lower since 2000 when it was 3.4 percent in August.

Genesee County's unemployment rate hasn't been as low as 3.5 percent in any month since May 2001.

The rate in August 2017 was 4.2 percent.

The total labor force for Genesee County in August was 30,400 with 1,100 people out of work and actively looking for work.

In August 2001, there were 31,900 people in Genesee County in the labor force with 1,200 looking for work.

New York State's unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, down from 4.9 percent a year ago. The national unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, down from 4.5 percent a year ago.

Nationally, the economy has added jobs for 95 straight months.

August 30, 2018 - 2:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

The primary unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in Genesee County is the lowest July rate locally since 2001.

While July is traditional the among the lowest rates of any given year, at 3.7 percent, it's the lowest rate of any month since October 2006.

The rate dropped six-tenths of a percent since last July.

The primary unemployment rate -- called the U-3 rate by labor economists (there are six such levels of rates) -- counts work-age people who either have jobs or are actively seeking employment. It doesn't include people who are permanently or temporarily out of the workforce either by choice or disability.

The number of residents of Genesee County who are counted in the rate is 30,600, up from 30,500 a year ago. The highest July number over the past 28 years was 34,800 in 2008. There are 1,100 people in the county seeking work, down from 1,300 a year ago and 29,500 people with jobs, up 300 from a year ago.

The number of jobs in Genesee County grew year-over-year from 23,700 to 23,800. The number of non-farm, private-sector jobs grew from 18,600 to 18,800.

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau reports it currently knows of 879 job openings locally, down 15.6 percent from last month when there were 1,042 job openings listed.

The state unemployment rate is 4.2 percent, down from 4.9 percent a year ago. The national rate is 4.1 percent compared to 4.6 percent a year ago.

July 12, 2018 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, news, notify.

All signs point to a tight labor market in Genesee County with more than 1,000 known job openings and only 1,100 people considered unemployed.

While local companies struggle to find workers, Genesee County's labor force size may have shrunk. 

Labor force participation has declined from May 2017 (the most recent month of data available), when it was 29,900, to 29,500 in May 2018. It was 30,400 in 2016 and 30,800 in 2015. The highest level since 1990 was 33,800 in 2009.

The decline could reflect Baby Boomers retiring, out-migration of prime-age workers, or a number of prime-age workers still sitting on the sidelines. There are not detailed enough statistics for a small county to say.

Nationally, the labor force participation rate is 62 percent, well below the pre-recession level of 66 percent. At the same time, wages have started to go up but not as fast as inflation.

Genesee County's unemployment rate -- as a measure of prime-age working people who either have a job or are looking for work -- was 3.8 percent in May, lower than a year ago, at 4.4 percent, but the same rate as May 2016.

It is the lowest unemployment rate in the GLOW region.

The lowest rate for May since 2000 was 3.5 percent in 2001 and the highest was 7.5 percent in 2012.

That reflects 1,100 people in the county who don't have adequate work but want work. The highest that number has been since 1990 was 2,700 in 1992.

The number of employed Genesee County residents in May was 28,400, down from 28,600 a year prior. It was 29,200 in May 2016 and 29,400 in May 2015. The highest its been since 1990 was 32,300 in 2006.

The Job Development Bureau has 1,036 job listings. That may not reflect all of the job openings in the county.

The sector with the highest number of listed job openings is agriculture, with 307, followed by manufacturing, 222, healthcare, 193, and retail, 65.

Every major employer in Genesee County has openings to fill, with many at hourly rates from $15 an hour to $25 an hour.

Back in 2014, when we did a story about job listings at the agency, there were only 279 listings. In April 2017, Director Scott Gage said there were 760 jobs listed.

The Job Development Bureau, 587 E. Main St., Batavia, is hosting a mini job fair from 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 24.

March 19, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, business, news, notify.

Tariffs on steel and aluminum announced by the Trump Administration last week could put a squeeze on profits for local manufacturers, according to the executives at Graham Corp., Chapin Industries, and Liberty Pumps.

"Yes, we are adversely impacted by higher costs from imported carbon steel and stainless steel," said Jeff Glajch, chief financial officer for Graham. "We are also seeing significant increases in costs from our domestic suppliers. Making the situation more challenging is that our foreign competitors are not impacted, and if they import finished product, it is not affected by the tariffs."

While details of the tariff plan have not been released, the administration has said it plans to impose in just a few days a 25-percent tariff on steel and 10-percent tariff on aluminum. This would be a tax on all steel and aluminum imported into the United States from other countries. 

The tariff was announced under rules that allow a nation to impose a tariff for national security purposes in order to protect an industry considered vital to a nation's defense.

Even though the tariffs have not taken effect yet, manufacturers around the country are reporting that prices on steel and aluminum have been rising and are getting a bump by the anticipated tariff and are expected to rise further. Those price increases get passed on to consumers or profits must be cut.

"In steel, we use many many tons," said Jim Campell, CEO of Chapin. "Over the last 12 month, steel prices have already increased significantly. We have absorbed and offset these cost, however, we have not raised prices to our customers.

"If and when steel manufacturers raise prices again, it will impact our bottom line," Campell added. "Depending on the amount of the increase, we may be forced to raise prices, which in the end will truncate our sales and hurt our bottom line. As you know tariffs are a two-edge sword, helps some, hurts others (mostly the consumer)."

At Liberty Pumps, price increases so far have not had a big impact.

"I just had a conversation yesterday with Purchasing," said CEO Charlie Cook. "Yes, prices are going up. It has been widespread but so far just moderate percentages. When blended into the total cost of products including overheads, etc., it’s not something we’re going to react to yet. We really can’t anyway since we just imposed a price increase in January.

"Have to say," he added, "it will be good to see some U.S. furnaces cooking again."

The tariffs, however, come at a time when the steel industry in the United States is healthy. The sector is coming off of 22 consecutive profitable quarters, according to the latest report from the Department of Commerce (pdf), with net income (profits) of $869 million in the final quarter of 2017. 

In the final month of 2017, domestic steel production increased by more than 2 percent, from 6.6 million metric tons in November to 6.8 million metric tons in December while prices went up 6.7 percent. 

The tariffs are ostensibly aimed at China, which has become the world's largest steel producer, producing more steel than the United States, Mexico, Canada, the EU, and Russia combined, but China accounts for only 2 percent of the steel used in the United States. Seventeen percent of imported steel comes from Canada, 14 percent from Brazil, 10 percent from South Korea, and 9 percent from Mexico.

Even with all those imports, U.S. producers still control 70 percent of the domestic market, according to Scott Lincicome, an international trade attorney associated with the Cato Institute.

Many economists are predicting higher prices for consumers as a result of the tariffs. When President Barack Obama imposed a tariff on tire imports from China, it may have saved 1,700 U.S. jobs but at a cost to U.S. consumers of $900,000 per job saved.

Many economists have predicted that the new tariffs will unleash a trade war, but since the tariffs are being implemented under national security rules, the United States can make exceptions for countries considered allies. These include its foremost trading partners, allowing trade negotiators to zero in on China, leading Harvard economist Martin Feldstein to speculate that the real target of the tariffs is China's continued insistence on obtaining U.S. technology from companies trying to do business there. The tariffs, Feldstein speculates, could be used as leverage in trade negotiations over the issue.

The situation for aluminum is very different than steel for the United States, which imports 90 percent of its aluminum used in everything from beer cans to jet fighters, and imports are rising, according to The Washington Post. That said, higher prices for aluminum will mean higher prices for beer and soda pop.

None of the Genesee County companies anticipating higher prices on steel and lower profits anticipate layoffs as a result of the changing financial picture, even though some economists have predicted from 140,000 to 170,000 jobs lost across the country as a result of the tariffs.

Campell at Chapin said there will be no local layoffs. 

"We have not had a production layoff in the last decade," Campbell said. "We go to great lengths to keep our workforce intact. It may, however, slow some of our growth."

Glajch, at Graham, said even with the increased production costs, the business is growing.

"We are not anticipating layoffs," Glajch said. "On the contrary, we are hiring. Our core markets have shown early signs of some improvement and our Navy business is doing quite well. We are hiring for direct labor and certain engineering and sales roles."

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