Vermont’s unemployment rate drops to 6.5 percent

first_imgChange to        Mar. 2010 from   Total Labor Force362,300361,400361,3009001,000  Employment338,600337,400336,0001,2002,600  Unemployment23,70023,90025,400-200-1,700  Rate6.5%6.6%7.0%-0.1-0.5 Vermont Labor Force StatisticsSeasonally Adjusted Mar.  2010 Feb.  2010 Mar.  2009 Feb. 2010Mar. 2009 (Vermont Business Magazine) The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2010 was 6.5 percent, down one tenth from the revised February rate and down five tenths from a year ago. The unemployment rate continues to decline and the trends are pointing to overall employment growth. said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. As is often the case during periods of recovery, there is volatility in the month to month numbers. We are seeing that this month in the two major labor market surveys we use to measure unemployment and job growth.  This all points to the need to look at trends over several months  versus a single month.Seasonal Job GrowthMarch is a variable month for job movements. Weather can impact Leisure and Hospitality.  School vacations can occur at different times relative to our survey time-frame. For most of the decade we have seen small seasonal declines typically in the -200 to -500 range.  Last March, in the depth of the recession, we shed over 3,600 jobs.  This year we saw a decline of -2,650 or -0.9% from February to March a larger than expected decline given recent trends.   The annual rate of unadjusted job growth is also now at -0.9% – considerably better than earlier in the year. The major contributor to seasonal job losses was Leisure & Hospitality, (-1,500 jobs or -4.0%). Retail Trade also shed jobs, (-600 or -1.7%).  Educational & Health Services dropped more than expected, (-450 or -0.7%).  On the plus side, Government sector jobs climbed by 300 or 0.5%, mostly as a result of temporary Census workers.When seasonally adjusted, March payroll jobs declined by 1,900 jobs or -0.6% over February. The declines were widespread with losses in Retail Trade, (-600 or -1.6%) Education & Health Services, (-600 or 1.0%) Leisure & Hospitality, (-600 or -1.7%).  Only the Government sector showed significant gains, (300 or 0.6%) again due to an influx of temporary Census workers.Employment GrowthVermont s March seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by one tenth of a point to 6.5% as a result of an increase of an estimated 1,200 employed and an essentially unchanged level of unemployed.  For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 9.7 percent, unchanged from February. March unemployment rates for Vermont s 17 labor market areas ranged from 5.2 percent in Hartford to 11.3 percent in Newport.  Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the March unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 7.2 percent, up one-tenth of a point from February down seven tenths of a point from a year ago.  The observed levels of employment, unemployment and the unemployment rate were not statistically different from the February values.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 household 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 have included a new statistical smoothing component that should reduce unexplainable short term large increases and decreases in the state s unemployment rate. Source: State of Vermont. 4.16.2010last_img read more

Badgers still reap benefits despite humiliating Huskies

first_imgThose weren’t little orange cones on the Kohl Center ice sheet this past weekend, but for most of the series, the UW women’s hockey team skated around, past and through visiting St. Cloud State like it was only there for practice.However, much more than the final scores of the two games (10-0 on Friday night and 6-0 on Sunday afternoon) meant something to the Badgers.As St. Cloud State came in with the league’s worst record (0-22-1, 0-17-1-1), it was likely that No. 1 ranked Wisconsin would put some gaudy offensive numbers up against them.But to say that the weekend was a waste is probably false. The Badgers were able to work on some things and give several young players a great opportunity to play in game situations when normally they wouldn’t have the chance.“There is always stuff to work on. If it’s not putting the puck in the net, it’s your break out in the [defensive] zone or chipping it off the glass. There are always fundamentals that you can work on and skills that you can achieve in these games and really iron out because you don’t get the opportunity to do it in other games,” junior winger Hilary Knight said.The lopsided contests gave Wisconsin the opportunity to do a few things with their personnel as well. On Friday night, head coach Mark Johnson put freshman defenseman Kelly Jaminski at left wing on the fourth line.“I think sometimes, for young players, it’s okay to play other positions, especially for a defenseman to go up and maybe play forward to get an understanding of how to play that certain position,” Johnson said.One of the reasons that Jaminski was able to play wing was because sophomore defenseman Alev Kelter returned to the lineup now that the soccer season has ended, which gives the Badgers seven solid defensemen to choose from. Mark Johnson recognized the potential Jaminski possesses in the offensive zone despite her lack of experience.“I thought she was going to score there in the third period. She was on for one of our goals. It’s probably the first – I don’t want to say in her life but certainly in a long time – where she has had to play forward,” Johnson said.In the game on Friday, junior winger Carolyne Prevost appeared to tweak something in her back. The coaching staff and trainers elected to keep her out of Sunday’s game for precautionary reasons.“We held her out today. She probably could have played, but the one thing is when these kids travel overseas they get tired, you work with jet lag, you get nicks and bumps along the way. In a game where you can rest her and do some things with our trainer to get her prepared for Tuesday’s practice, we felt that was in the best interest,” Johnson said.Her absence paved the way for several young Badgers to get to play in situations that normally they wouldn’t.Freshman defenseman Laurel Miller got the nod at forward, and toward the end of Sunday’s tilt was able to play with none other than Hilary Knight.Knight did everything in her power to earn Miller a point in front of the home crowd.“I really wanted to get either Laurel Miller or Lauren Unser a goal, so we were working at that,” Knight said.The other player who Johnson put in a new situation was Breann Frykas, who he moved up a line to play with Kelly Nash and Mallory Deluce.“That’s good for her to get some ice time and create some more opportunities for her to play,” Johnson said.St. Cloud State likely isn’t the team that will ready the championship-hopeful Badgers for close games down the stretch, but the games did provide Wisconsin with, if nothing else, more confidence on the offensive end and some invaluable experience for the young players on the squad.last_img read more