Vermont pursues workers in Boston

first_img“This is the marketing segment of a concerted approach,” Quinn said. “Our research shows that targeting alumni of Vermont colleges and universities; creating internships for students with Vermont companies; and building more moderately priced homes are the policies we have to implement to go with our message.” Welcome to the brave new world of economic development, Vermont-style. January 23, 2008Vermont Continues Its Pursuit of Boston Talent “That’s what prompted our Governor, Jim Douglas, to make this such a priority,” Quinn said. “Vermont is the second-oldest state in terms of median age. Employers and potential employers need to know there’s going to be an adequate workforce available in the future.” BOSTON – Dim lighting and hip music formed the backdrop as the well-dressed young man and young woman munched seared tuna appetizers and sipped wine. Would he consider moving to Vermont to work for her company? “This event has generated a number of leads for us,” said David Parker, Operations Director of Dealer.com, a Burlington, Vt. software firm that specializes in internet marketing for the automobile industry. “The fact that people employed in Boston’s tech sector are interested moving back to Vermont is a tribute to the strength of the state’s brand, and to our burgeoning software industry.” That’s turned around slightly, but New England continues to have a lower percentage of people in this age bracket than the rest of America, and Vermont is tied for dead last with Maine, the study said. After a brief introduction and some small talk about work, she cut right to her bottom line. For the second time in less than a year, economic development officials from the State of Vermont, with employers in tow, came south looking to poach a few of Boston’s young workers. “We see events like this as our most efficient way to find young people who are likely to come back to Vermont to work and live,” said Mike Quinn, Vermont’s Commissioner of Economic Development. “We’ve targeted a group who already know and like the state, and this generation finds their jobs by networking, not looking at classifieds.” That includes a website aimed at giving potential recruits information about jobs, housing, and activities in Vermont; an e-newsletter and email alerts about jobs; and events like this that give potential recruits a chance to rub elbows and swap business cards with Vermont companies looking to fill jobs immediately. It’s a challenge facing all of New England’s states: Anemic population growth, especially among young people. A study by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire indicated that between 2000 and 2004, the region’s population of those aged 25 to 34 dropped more than 6 percent. Networking Event Seeks To Woo Professionals North The event, at Boston’s trendy Living Room nightclub, is part of a state campaign dubbed PursueVT aimed at retaining young people and recruiting those who have left Vermont to return. So the state has set out to let young people – especially those who went to one of Vermont’s many colleges and universities – know that there are good  jobs in this tiny state to go with its attractive lifestyle. The state plans more events like these in the future, Quinn said, and intends to expand its target cities to include New York and Washington, D.C. A similar event at the same venue in September 2007 drew roughly 75 people. Wednesday’s crowd of about 50 enjoyed free food; a shiny Burton snowboard as a door prize, and nearly 20 employers in information technology and financial services vying for their attention. To learn more, visit the Department of Economic Development’s website: www.thinkvermont.com/publications/(link is external) or www.pursuevt.com(link is external)last_img read more

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Vermont’s economic competitiveness ranks 49th in nation

first_imgAccording to a new study from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Vermont s economic outlook now ranks 49th out of 50 states. The second edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index offers a roadmap for economic recovery based on state policies that have a proven impact on growth. High personal income taxes, high property taxes, along with some of the highest labor costs in America all hurt Vermont s economic outlook. On the positive side, the study gives good marks to Vermont for a relatively low sales tax burden and a quality legal system.Among bordering states, New Hampshire ranks 37th, Massachusetts ranks 26th and New York ranks 50th.The report shows how federal stimulus dollars may simply encourage out-of-control state spending, which is up 124 percent over the last 10 years, without requiring states to make the tough decisions needed to bring about financial stability. States were quick to increase spending and add programs during the good times, said Senator Kevin Mullin, ALEC s VermontState Chairman. We need to make tough choices to live within our means and prioritize our budget. The best solution to our budget woes is to control state spending and promote policies that foster economic growth and job creation.Co-author and renowned economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer summarized the report’s findings when he said, States cannot tax their way into prosperity. Rich States, Poor States presents rankings of the 50 states based on the relationship between policies and performance revealing which states are best positioned to make a recovery, and which are not.Laffer and his co-authors, Steve Moore, senior economics writer at The Wall Street Journal, and Jonathan Williams, director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force for ALEC, analyze how economic competitiveness drives income, population and job growth in the states. They found that, states with a high and rising tax burden are more likely to suffer through economic decline, while those with lower and falling tax burdens are more likely to enjoy robust economic growth. The top performing states keep taxes, spending, and regulatory burdens low, while the biggest losers in the book tend to share similar policies of high tax rates, unsustainable spending and regulation, said co-author, Jonathan Williams. State governments that believe they can bring about economic recovery by growing government and increasing taxes are sadly mistaken. Top Fives StatesBottom Five States1. Utah46. New Jersey2. Colorado47. Maine3. Arizona48. Rhode Island4. Virginia49. Vermont5. South Dakota50. New York To read more about the state-to-state comparisons, see the individual state analysis, and view the full report, download it for free at www.alec.org(link is external).last_img read more

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Vermont Downtown Board approves South Burlington’s new ‘Town Center’ designation

first_imgVermont s second largest municipality is one step closer to developing a new downtown after getting a key designation that will allow it favorable tax treatment on development there. The Vermont Downtown Board recently approved the City of South Burlington s application for New Town Center designation, paving the way for the establishment of a multi-story downtown area on undeveloped lands surrounding the new Market Street across from University Mall, including the San Remo Drive area. This decision formalizes the state s recognition of the city s long-standing desire to create a new downtown, said Kevin Dorn, Vermont Secretary of Commerce and Community Development and chairman of the Downtown Board. We re very pleased to have received this designation, said Paul Conner, Director of Planning and Zoning for the City. We appreciate the Board s recognition of our ongoing work to develop a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use core to our community. Having this designation in hand will now provide us access to State incentive programs aimed at promoting this kind of smart growth at the local level.The New Town Center designation will allow South Burlington to apply to make the area a Tax Increment Financing District, which allows municipalities to keep some of the new Education Property Tax dollars generated by the development to pay for infrastructure costs.To obtain New Town Center designation, municipalities must demonstrate that their planning process, regulations, and capital expenditures are adequate to yield multi story development that is:Denser than surrounding areas;Mixed use, and;Includes civic buildings and affordable housing. Applicants must also show that there is adequate water and wastewater capacity to serve the anticipated development. The city s application was very thorough, Dorn said. And the Board was very impressed with the planning work done over the years.  We look forward to the development of a very livable, mixed use downtown area for South Burlington something that residents have wanted for a long time.In addition to the designation process for New Town Centers, the Downtown Board also oversees designation of downtowns and village centers, Growth Centers, and Vermont Neighborhoods;  provides training and technical assistance; and administers grant and tax credit programs related to downtowns and village centers.To date, 23 downtowns and 94 village centers have been designated, as well as 4 Growth Centers (including Williston and Colchester), and one New Town Center in Colchester.  More at: http://www.historicvermont.org/programs/downtown.html(link is external)Source: Commerce Agency. 2.4.2010.last_img read more

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Vermont unemployment rate stays at 6.7 percent, 800 jobs added

first_imgThirty states and the District of Columbia recorded over-the-month unemployment rate increases, 9 states registered rate decreases, and 11 states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the year, jobless rates increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The national unemployment rate fell from 10.0 percent in December to 9.7 percent in January, but was up from 7.7 percent a year earlier. In January, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 17 states, and remained unchanged in two states. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in California (+32,500), followed by Illinois (+26,000), New York (+25,500), Washington (+18,900), and Minnesota (+15,600). The District of Columbia experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+1.0 percent), followed by Alaska (+0.9 percent), Washington (+0.7 percent), Minnesota and Utah (+0.6 percent each), and Illinois (+0.5 percent). The largest over-the-month decreases in employment occurred in Missouri and Ohio (-12,800 each), followed by Kentucky (-11,800), New Jersey (-9,100), Florida (-6,100), and Nevada (-5,700). Kentucky (-0.7 percent) experienced the largest over-the- month percentage decrease in employment, followed by Missouri and Nevada (-0.5 percent each), and Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, and Ohio (-0.3 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment decreased in 48 states and increased in 2 states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-year percentage decreases occurred in Nevada (-6.9 percent), Arizona (-5.4 percent), Wyoming (-5.0 percent), and Cali- fornia (-4.8 percent).Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)In January, the West reported the highest regional jobless rate, 10.8 percent, while the Northeast recorded the lowest rate, 9.1 percent. The South and West experienced statistically significant over-the- month rate changes (+0.2 percentage point each). Over the year, all four regions registered significant rate increases, the largest of which were in the South and West (+2.2 percentage points each). (See table 1.) Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 11.7 per-cent in January. The East North Central recorded the next highest rate, 11.3 percent. The West North Central registered the lowest January jobless rate, 7.2 percent, followed by the West South Central, 8.0 percent. The Pacific rate, as well as the South Atlantic rate (10.3 percent), set new series highs. (All region, division, and state series begin in 1976.) Four divisions experienced statistically significant unemployment rate increases from a month earlier, the largest of which were in New England and the South Atlantic (+0.2 percentage point each). All nine divisions reported significant over-the-year rate increases of at least 0.8 percentage point. The largest of these occurred in the East North Central and Pacific (+2.4 percentage points each).State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)Michigan again recorded the highest unemployment rate among the states, 14.3 percent in January. The states with the next highest rates were Nevada, 13.0 percent; Rhode Island, 12.7 percent; South Carolina, 12.6 percent; and California, 12.5 percent. North Dakota continued to register the lowest jobless rate, 4.2 percent in January, followed by Nebraska and South Dakota, 4.6 and 4.8 percent, respectively. The rates in California and South Carolina set new series highs, as did the rates in three other states: Florida (11.9 percent), Georgia (10.4 percent), and North Carolina (11.1 percent). The rate in the District of Columbia (12.0 percent) also set a new series high. In total, 25 states posted jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 9.7 percent, 11 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 14 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3 and chart 1.) Six states reported statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate increases in January. New Mexico experienced the largest of these (+0.3 percentage point), followed by California, Florida, Idaho, and Utah (+0.2 point each) and Maryland (+0.1 point). The remaining 44 states and the District of Columbia registered jobless rates that were not appreciably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes. West Virginia and Nevada recorded the largest jobless rate increases from January 2009 (+3.5 and +3.4 percentage points, respectively). Six other states reported rate increases of 3.0 percentage points or more: Florida, Illinois, and Wyoming (+3.2 points each), Rhode Island (+3.1 points), and Alabama and Michigan (+3.0 points each). The District of Columbia also registered a large over-the-year unemployment rate increase (+3.6 percentage points). Thirty-five additional states had smaller, but also statistically significant, rate increases. The remaining seven states reported jobless rates that were not appre- ciably different from those of a year earlier. (See table B.)Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)Between December 2009 and January 2010, 11 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, 9 of which were increases. The largest statistically significant job gains occurred in California (+32,500), Illinois (+26,000), and New York (+25,500). Statistically significant decreases in employment occurred in Missouri (-12,800) and Kentucky (-11,800). (See tables C and 5.) Over the year, 48 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were decreases. The largest statistically significant job losses occurred in California (-701,700), Florida (-303,200), Texas (-287,800), Ohio (-222,000), and Illinois (-219,700). The smallest statistically significant decreases in employment occurred in Vermont (-4,500), South Dakota (-8,100), and New Hampshire (-8,700). (See table D.)Table A. States with unemployment rates significantly differ-ent from that of the U.S., January 2010, seasonally adjusted————————————————————– State | Rate(p)————————————————————–United States (1) ……………….| 9.7 |Alaska …………………………| 8.5Arkansas ……………………….| 7.6California ……………………..| 12.5Colorado ……………………….| 7.4District of Columbia …………….| 12.0Florida ………………………..| 11.9Hawaii …………………………| 6.9Illinois ……………………….| 11.3Iowa …………………………..| 6.6Kansas …………………………| 6.4 |Louisiana ………………………| 7.4Maine ………………………….| 8.2Maryland ……………………….| 7.5Michigan ……………………….| 14.3Minnesota ………………………| 7.3Montana ………………………..| 6.8Nebraska ……………………….| 4.6Nevada …………………………| 13.0New Hampshire …………………..| 7.0New Mexico ……………………..| 8.5 |New York ……………………….| 8.8North Carolina ………………….| 11.1North Dakota ……………………| 4.2Ohio …………………………..| 10.8Oklahoma ……………………….| 6.7Oregon …………………………| 10.7Pennsylvania ……………………| 8.8Rhode Island ……………………| 12.7South Carolina ………………….| 12.6South Dakota ……………………| 4.8 |Tennessee ………………………| 10.7Texas ………………………….| 8.2Utah …………………………..| 6.8Vermont ………………………..| 6.7Virginia ……………………….| 6.9Wisconsin ………………………| 8.7Wyoming ………………………..| 7.6————————————————————– 1 Data are not preliminary. p = preliminary.Table B. States with statistically significant unemployment rate changesfrom January 2009 to January 2010, seasonally adjusted————————————————————————- | Rate | |———–|———–| Over-the-year State | January | January | rate change(p) | 2009 | 2010(p) |————————————————————————-Alabama ……………………| 8.1 | 11.1 | 3.0Alaska …………………….| 7.1 | 8.5 | 1.4Arizona ……………………| 8.0 | 9.2 | 1.2Arkansas …………………..| 6.5 | 7.6 | 1.1California …………………| 9.7 | 12.5 | 2.8Connecticut ………………..| 7.1 | 9.0 | 1.9Delaware …………………..| 7.0 | 9.0 | 2.0District of Columbia ………..| 8.4 | 12.0 | 3.6Florida ……………………| 8.7 | 11.9 | 3.2Georgia ……………………| 8.4 | 10.4 | 2.0 | | |Hawaii …………………….| 6.0 | 6.9 | .9Idaho ……………………..| 6.7 | 9.3 | 2.6Illinois …………………..| 8.1 | 11.3 | 3.2Iowa ………………………| 5.2 | 6.6 | 1.4Kansas …………………….| 5.6 | 6.4 | .8Kentucky …………………..| 9.1 | 10.7 | 1.6Louisiana ………………….| 5.7 | 7.4 | 1.7Maine ……………………..| 7.3 | 8.2 | .9Maryland …………………..| 6.1 | 7.5 | 1.4Massachusetts ………………| 7.1 | 9.5 | 2.4 | | |Michigan …………………..| 11.3 | 14.3 | 3.0Mississippi ………………..| 8.2 | 10.9 | 2.7Missouri …………………..| 8.1 | 9.5 | 1.4Montana ……………………| 5.6 | 6.8 | 1.2Nevada …………………….| 9.6 | 13.0 | 3.4New Hampshire ………………| 5.2 | 7.0 | 1.8New Jersey …………………| 7.5 | 9.9 | 2.4New Mexico …………………| 5.9 | 8.5 | 2.6New York …………………..| 7.1 | 8.8 | 1.7North Carolina ……………..| 9.2 | 11.1 | 1.9 | | |Ohio ………………………| 8.6 | 10.8 | 2.2Oklahoma …………………..| 5.0 | 6.7 | 1.7Pennsylvania ……………….| 6.8 | 8.8 | 2.0Rhode Island ……………….| 9.6 | 12.7 | 3.1South Carolina ……………..| 10.0 | 12.6 | 2.6South Dakota ……………….| 4.3 | 4.8 | .5Tennessee ………………….| 9.1 | 10.7 | 1.6Texas ……………………..| 6.4 | 8.2 | 1.8Utah ………………………| 5.6 | 6.8 | 1.2Virginia …………………..| 5.7 | 6.9 | 1.2 | | |Washington …………………| 7.5 | 9.3 | 1.8West Virginia ………………| 5.8 | 9.3 | 3.5Wisconsin ………………….| 7.1 | 8.7 | 1.6Wyoming ……………………| 4.4 | 7.6 | 3.2————————————————————————- p = preliminary.Table C. States with statistically significant employment changes fromDecember 2009 to January 2010, seasonally adjusted————————————————————————– | December | January | Over-the-month State | 2009 | 2010(p) | change(p)————————————————————————–Alaska……………………| 321,500 | 324,400 | 2,900California………………..| 13,809,600 | 13,842,100 | 32,500District of Columbia……….| 701,300 | 708,000 | 6,700Illinois………………….| 5,558,200 | 5,584,200 | 26,000Kentucky………………….| 1,766,000 | 1,754,200 | -11,800Minnesota…………………| 2,620,200 | 2,635,800 | 15,600Missouri………………….| 2,663,200 | 2,650,400 | -12,800New York………………….| 8,460,900 | 8,486,400 | 25,500Utah……………………..| 1,178,000 | 1,185,100 | 7,100Virginia………………….| 3,602,600 | 3,616,100 | 13,500Washington………………..| 2,775,100 | 2,794,000 | 18,900————————————————————————– p = preliminary.Table D. States with statistically significant employment changes fromJanuary 2009 to January 2010, seasonally adjusted————————————————————————– | January | January | Over-the-year State | 2009 | 2010(p) | change(p)————————————————————————–Alabama…………………..| 1,932,300 | 1,850,200 | -82,100Arizona…………………..| 2,519,600 | 2,382,300 | -137,300Arkansas………………….| 1,183,100 | 1,155,600 | -27,500California………………..| 14,543,800 | 13,842,100 | -701,700Colorado………………….| 2,310,400 | 2,206,100 | -104,300Connecticut……………….| 1,662,900 | 1,610,400 | -52,500Delaware………………….| 424,600 | 410,800 | -13,800Florida…………………..| 7,447,500 | 7,144,300 | -303,200Georgia…………………..| 3,974,600 | 3,815,900 | -158,700Hawaii……………………| 604,800 | 585,100 | -19,700 | | |Idaho…………………….| 626,900 | 603,100 | -23,800Illinois………………….| 5,803,900 | 5,584,200 | -219,700Indiana…………………..| 2,855,600 | 2,756,800 | -98,800Iowa……………………..| 1,501,600 | 1,463,400 | -38,200Kansas……………………| 1,380,800 | 1,321,500 | -59,300Kentucky………………….| 1,796,400 | 1,754,200 | -42,200Louisiana…………………| 1,929,000 | 1,882,600 | -46,400Maine…………………….| 604,700 | 588,900 | -15,800Maryland………………….| 2,554,000 | 2,492,100 | -61,900Massachusetts……………..| 3,230,200 | 3,138,000 | -92,200 | | |Michigan………………….| 3,961,700 | 3,850,600 | -111,100Minnesota…………………| 2,710,300 | 2,635,800 | -74,500Mississippi……………….| 1,118,100 | 1,083,600 | -34,500Missouri………………….| 2,734,700 | 2,650,400 | -84,300Montana…………………..| 435,300 | 424,000 | -11,300Nebraska………………….| 956,700 | 934,500 | -22,200Nevada……………………| 1,200,200 | 1,117,700 | -82,500New Hampshire……………..| 635,600 | 626,900 | -8,700New Jersey………………..| 3,952,400 | 3,849,600 | -102,800New Mexico………………..| 829,100 | 803,500 | -25,600 | | |New York………………….| 8,669,600 | 8,486,400 | -183,200North Carolina…………….| 4,008,500 | 3,894,300 | -114,200Ohio……………………..| 5,207,600 | 4,985,600 | -222,000Oklahoma………………….| 1,577,600 | 1,517,700 | -59,900Oregon……………………| 1,658,900 | 1,591,600 | -67,300Pennsylvania………………| 5,707,100 | 5,563,800 | -143,300Rhode Island………………| 468,800 | 452,700 | -16,100South Carolina…………….| 1,859,200 | 1,815,300 | -43,900South Dakota………………| 408,200 | 400,100 | -8,100Tennessee…………………| 2,690,700 | 2,587,000 | -103,700 | | |Texas…………………….| 10,521,500 | 10,233,700 | -287,800Utah……………………..| 1,218,300 | 1,185,100 | -33,200Vermont…………………..| 300,800 | 296,300 | -4,500Virginia………………….| 3,697,200 | 3,616,100 | -81,100Washington………………..| 2,902,900 | 2,794,000 | -108,900West Virginia……………..| 755,100 | 731,100 | -24,000Wisconsin…………………| 2,817,600 | 2,704,000 | -113,600Wyoming…………………..| 295,300 | 280,600 | -14,700————————————————————————– p = preliminary. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2010 was 6.7 percent, unchanged from the revised December rate and up 0.5 point from a year ago. After our annual benchmark revision process, Vermont s unemployment rate remained unchanged and has been on the decline since May of 2009, said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. With the exception of last month, seasonally adjusted jobs have been on a very slow, but positive growth pattern since September, 2009.Seasonal Job GrowthDuring this past decade unadjusted job counts have fallen an average of 8,100 jobs from December to January. This year we saw a decline of only 7,550 or -2.5%, a slightly better than average performance. The annual rate of unadjusted job growth improved to -1.6%, largely as a result of the annual benchmark revision process. Almost all of the seasonal job gains came from Leisure & Hospitality, (2,400 jobs or 7.0%). The largest seasonal declines were observed in Retail Trade, (-2,050 or -5.4%) Construction, (-1,150 or -10.1%) Professional & Business Services, (-1,150 or -5.2%), and Education & Health Services, (-600 or -1.0%).When seasonally adjusted, January payroll jobs grew by 800 jobs or 0.3% over December. This growth was led by the Leisure & Hospitality sector, (1,300 jobs or 3.9%) and the Health Care & Social Assistance sector, (700 or 1.5%). Manufacturing, (-700 or -2.3%) and the Government sector, (-900 or -1.6%) led job losses. It should be noted that most of the government sector loss was in local government and could be due to the timing of the January vacation period.Employment GrowthVermont s January seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 6.7% as a result of an increase of 1,400 in the number of employed and an essentially unchanged level of unemployed. After the benchmark revision process, the four-tenths increase we reported in December did not occur. For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 9.7 percent, a decline of three-tenths of a point from December, 2009.January unemployment rates for Vermont s 17 labor market areas ranged from 5.0 percent in Hartford to 11.0 percent in Newport. Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the January unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 7.5 percent, up nine-tenths of a point from December 2009 and up 0.4 points from a year ago. The January unadjusted unemployment rate estimate was statistically different from the December value.Annual Benchmark RevisionEach year in January we perform a benchmark revision of the CES (Current Employment Statistics) job counts and the LAUS (Local Areal Unemployment Statistics) employment and unemployment estimates. In the case of CES, we replace survey data with actual job counts from our Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) through the third quarter of 2009 and then we reestimate fourth quarter 2009 jobs using this new information. Since CES job counts are part of the LAUS unemployment model, we also revise the unemployment series for the year.This year our CES and LAUS revisions were much larger than normal, partly because of the rapidly changing economy and partly due to methodology changes imposed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that had the impact of overestimating job loss in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. This, in turn, had the impact of overestimating our unemployment rate for the first two quarters of 2009.As we move forward we can expect small sample states like Vermont to exhibit a higher degree of variability in month to month job estimates in the CES program. As a result of this change in methodology, caution should be used in interpreting a single month s results. CES payroll job numbers are now best understood in the context of their movement over several months as opposed to observed changes in a single month estimate.Starting in January 2010 the LAUS program unemployment estimates will include a new statistical smoothing component that should reduce unexplainable large increases and decreases in the state s unemployment rate.Recent economic data suggest that the national economy and perhaps the Vermont economy has softened after several months of expansion. For instance, monthly tax revenue receipts in Vermont released Monday showed an unexpected decline, further complicating budget-balancing efforts in the Legislature. Vermont’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in January 2009. The state still lost 4,500 jobs over the same time last year.last_img read more

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Weekly unemployment claims fall across the board

first_imgFor the week of July 17, 2010, there were 630 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance, a decrease of 103 from the week before. Altogether 9,889 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 186 from a week ago and 3,665 fewer than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,122 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 355 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,238 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is a decrease of 137 from the week before. In addition, the Vermont Department of Labor announced on June 30 that it would be discontinuing extended unemployment benefits (STORY) beginning July 10 because the state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 6.0 percent (STORY), which is below the 6.5 percent federal mandate for such benefits. However, Congress is in the process of restoring extended benefits. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)last_img read more

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Shumlin urges participation in Governor’s Career Readiness Certificate Program

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin today highlighted the Governor’s Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), which ensures that Vermont workers meet industry-created national training standards to fill cutting edge jobs. He also urged prospective and even current workers and employers to participate in the certificate program to reduce workforce turnover and strengthen the skills and quality of employees.‘In this global economy, Vermont employers require a skilled workforce to compete,’ the Governor said at an appearance at the Cabot Creamery distribution center in Montpelier. ‘Vermont workers who possess those fundamental skills and a solid work ethic are more likely to obtain employment, and once hired, they are more likely to remain employed and advance to higher positions.’The program was established through a partnership between the Community College of Vermont (CCV), the Vermont Department of Labor and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. In its first two years, the CRC program served nearly 600 Vermonters.”We are very pleased to have the Governor’s endorsement and namesake on this important tool for qualifying Vermont workers and assisting employers in hiring the right person for the right job,’ said Joyce Judy, President of the Community College of Vermont. ‘Based on a nationally recognized assessment system, CCV has added specific skills based on input from Vermont employers. The Governor’s Career Readiness Certificate is uniquely designed to help Vermonters acquire and demonstrate the skills necessary to thrive in a 21st century economy.”The content of the program includes employer-based recommendations collected through a series of industry forums. The 2011 program now includes three variations, to be delivered in four CCV ‘hub’ locations ‘ Winooski, Rutland, Barre, and Bennington ‘ and other locations as needed:* a 36 hour course (Fast Track CRC)* a 60 hour course (Extended CRC)* Customized sections (Customized CRC) of flexible duration, provided for a specific employer, agency and/or populationStudents who successfully complete all six modules will receive a nationally recognized National WorkKeys Certificate, as well as a CCV Career Readiness Certificate. Unemployed and under-employed individuals are encouraged to participate, and sessions can be customized for employers based on the need for skill upgrades within the current or prospective workforce.‘I am delighted Governor Shumlin is endorsing this program,’ said Patricia Moulton Powden, Deputy Secretary of ACCD. ‘This was developed to respond to the needs of employers who identified these skills as critical for new hires. The work we have all done to get this program launched is enhanced by the Governor’s endorsement.’Employers who have already taken advantage of or will soon be involved in the Career Readiness Certificate program include Cabot Creamery, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Vermont Country Store, Central Vermont Medical Center and Rutland Regional Medical Center.last_img read more

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U.S. Senate Energy Bill Includes Support for Energy Efficiency and Renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Coral Davenport for the New York Times:The Senate on Wednesday passed the first broad energy bill since the George W. Bush administration, a bipartisan measure to better align the nation’s oil, gas and electricity systems with the changing ways that power is produced in the United States.The bill, approved 85 to 12, united Republicans and Democrats around a traditionally divisive issue — energy policy — largely by avoiding the hot-button topics of climate change and oil and gas exploration that have thwarted other measures.Its authors, Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee, and Maria Cantwell of Washington, the panel’s ranking Democrat, purposely stepped away from any sweeping efforts to solve or fundamentally change the nation’s core energy challenges.Still, the measure, known as the Energy Policy Modernization Act, would respond to the rapidly transforming energy landscape. It includes provisions to promote renewable energy, improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and to cut some planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution.Since passage of the last major energy law, the United States has gone from fearing oil and gas shortages to becoming the world’s leading producer of both fuels. The use of wind and solar power is accelerating as those sources become cheaper than fossil fuels in some parts of the country. And President Obama’s environmental regulations are reshaping power systems as electric utilities close coal-fired power plants and replace them with alternative sources.But the nation’s energy infrastructure has not kept pace with those changes.The bill would promote renewable energy by requiring operators of electricity lines, transformers, and other elements of the electrical grid to upgrade the system, with a focus on large-scale storage systems for electricity to better accommodate the expanding production of wind and solar power. The bill would create and strengthen several programs devoted to improving energy efficiency in buildings.It would give a victory to fossil fuel producers by requiring the Energy Department to accelerate approval of permits to build coastal terminals for shipping American natural gas abroad.The bill has drawn support from a wide range of business and environmental groups, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Pew Charitable Trusts.Full article: Senate Passes Legislation Tailored to a Modern Energy Landscape U.S. Senate Energy Bill Includes Support for Energy Efficiency and Renewableslast_img read more

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Push by Tech Industry to Invest in Renewable Energy in Coal Country

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享David Ferris for E&E:When the news hits that a company has bought into a monster renewable energy project, chances are that company is the likes of Facebook, Microsoft or Google. Now those tech darlings are using a new vehicle to encourage other companies to do the same — especially in places where coal power reigns supreme, like South Carolina or Kentucky.Representatives from these tech firms were headline speakers at a meeting late last week of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a new but fast-growing group that intends to make direct purchase of clean power easier for humbler sorts of firms, like hoteliers, clothiers and aluminum manufacturers.The agenda of the meeting, held at Microsoft Corp.’s headquarters here, didn’t specifically encourage companies to locate their projects in utility service territories where the conversation about renewables is uncomfortable. Speakers said that costs matter, as does the public relations value of siting a project nearby.But another message was unmistakable: If companies want their clean-energy purchases to tip the scales against climate change, they ought to use their pocketbooks to sway utilities and states that aren’t much interested.“If you’re trying to change the market,” said Bill Weihl, the director of sustainability for Facebook Inc., to the 280 attendees, “it’s useful to think, ‘How do I change the market there?’” As it plans for a new data center, Microsoft is considering where the renewable energy will come from, said Janous, the company’s chief energy strategist, in an interview. That includes a strategy that speakers were encouraging REBA members to follow — to site renewable projects in regions where renewables aren’t part of the conversation.Janis said that strategy was a key factor in why Microsoft sited its latest renewable project, a 20 MW solar farm, in Virginia, where coal power is a mainstay of electricity generation and where the state’s renewable energy portfolio goal is a mere 7 percent by 2021.Microsoft, which claims it achieved carbon neutrality four years ago, has an obligation to pass its lessons on, Janous said.“If the industry hasn’t changed,” Janous said, “then we’ve failed.”Full article: Tech giants lead campaign to bring renewables to reluctant states Push by Tech Industry to Invest in Renewable Energy in Coal Countrylast_img read more

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Green Mountain Power: Residential batteries saved customers $500,000 during heat wave

first_imgGreen Mountain Power: Residential batteries saved customers $500,000 during heat wave FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WCAX:While other power companies were telling customers to reduce how much energy they used during the recent heat wave, Green Mountain Power was focused on a different tactic.For years, GMP has worked on creating a system of stored energy to rely on during peak energy days, and GMP Vice President Josh Castonguay says it worked like planned. Castonguay says to save money in Vermont, power was pulled from 500 Tesla Powerwalls, as well as energy storage facilities in Rutland and Panton.Think of it like a game. GMP waits until the moment of peak usage and then sends out all their stored energy to the grid. That reduces the need for dirty and expensive backup generators to be brought online.Castonguay says the battery strategy paid off. “All three of those combined, during that peak hour that’s happened this summer, are the equivalent of that, basically worth up to half a million dollars for customers and it’s about the equivalent of taking 5,000 homes off the grid during that one hour of the peak,” he said.“When New England hits that peak, every state has to share in the cost of the bulk system. So everything, each state, each utility, can do to lower the peak during that time is what saves that money,” said Castonguay.So far, 500 Tesla Powerwalls are installed around Vermont with 1,500 more expected to go out. Castonguay says they’ll be ready if another big peak pops up this summer. “We’re installing more Powerwalls every day, so we’ll have more to use if something else comes up this summer,” he said.More: GMP credits big batteries for saving money during heat wavelast_img read more

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New Zealand grid operator sees big potential for rooftop solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Transpower, New Zealand’s state-owned transmission grid operator, says falling solar and storage costs have sparked interest in PV for a market already well served by wind and hydro power.The nation already uses renewable energy for almost 90% of its electricity demand, according to live transmission data on Transpower’s website, but PV is not even listed among the clean energy technologies in operation.According to the grid operator, there are bigger investment opportunities ahead as New Zealand’s electricity demand is set to rise, due to increasing electrification industrial processes and mobility, in line with the country’s Paris Agreement obligations. In its new Te Mauri Hiko Energy Futures report, the grid operator forecasts electricity generation will almost double between now and 2050.New Zealand has installed 85 MW of solar to date, nearly half of which has been added in the last two years in more densely populated areas, such as Auckland and Canterbury.The report stresses the potential for residential solar – being adopted at a rapid rate in neighboring Australia – is huge. With 1.8 million residential households and 300,000 businesses, the authors claim 11 GW of new PV could be installed. That number would only grow over time, as there is a need for new homes in New Zealand, and solar equipment is making efficiency advances. By 2050, the report’s authors say, the potential for rooftop PV could be around 27 GW.More: New Zealand identifies 11 GW solar potential New Zealand grid operator sees big potential for rooftop solarlast_img read more

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