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Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

County doesn't share in state's job growth report

post 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.

Monday, December 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Low gas prices could cost local governments a total of $1 million in gas sales tax revenue

post by Howard B. Owens in economy, taxes

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."

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 5:34 pm

'Significantly more jobs available' says director of job bureau

post by Howard B. Owens in economy, employment, jobs

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.

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 8:14 am

Genesee County said to have 100 more jobs this March over last March

post by Howard B. Owens in economy, employment, jobs

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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

Jobs Report: County sees total increase in jobs for February

post 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.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Genesee County's unemployment rate reported at 6.1 for third month in a row

post 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.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Slight annual uptick in local jobs according to state report

post 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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:15 am

County's unemployment rate unchanged in November

post 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.

Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Labor department records 200 more jobs in Genesee County compared to last year

post 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.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Genesee County's unemployment rate dips slightly from last month

post 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.

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