The 720km-long Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project, which has been built in Texas, US, can transport nearly 2BCF of natural gas from Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast The Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project is a 720km -long natural gas pipeline in Texas (Credit: Pixabay) Kinder Morgan is set to commission the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project (GCX), a 720km-long natural gas pipeline built with an investment of around $1.75bn (£1.4bn) in Texas, on 25 September.The company said that the 42-inch natural gas pipeline, which broke ground in May 2018, will start operations ahead of schedule.The Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project has been designed to transport around 2bn cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas per day drawn from the Waha Hub and other points in the Permian Basin to the Agua Dulce Hub near the Texas Gulf Coast.Kinder Morgan said that the natural gas pipeline is fully subscribed under long-term contracts, and will help ease the current Permian Basin gas takeaway constraints and help bring down natural gas flaring.Kinder Morgan natural gas midstream president Sital Mody said: “We are pleased to place GCX in service safely and ahead of schedule for our customers, helping to unlock tremendous value for the State of Texas.“I am very proud of our team’s ability to execute. We had over 3,000 contractors deployed at times and more than six million contractor hours worked – all without a major safety incident during the construction phases of the project.“With natural gas supplies projected to rise over the next 20 years from supply basins such as the Permian, our strong network of pipelines provides the ability to connect this supply to the growing markets along the Gulf Coast.”Stakeholders in the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline ProjectKinder Morgan’s subsidiary – Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline holds an operating stake of 34% in the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project. Its partners in the natural gas pipeline project are Altus Midstream, DCP Midstream, and an affiliate of Targa Resources.As part of the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project, an 80km long, 36-inch diameter lateral pipeline has also been laid to connect to the Midland Basin. The lateral pipeline connects to the Targa-owned associated compression to serve gas processing facilities and facilities owned jointly by Pioneer Natural Resources and Targa.
St Anne’s JCR has pledged to show their support for the actions of members of Direct Action for Divestment (DAD) , and to send a letter from their JCR president to Maggie Snowling, the President of St John’s college, and Andrew Parker, the Principle Bursar, expressing their support for the protestors and asking St John’s to “cooperate with the activists on their demands in the ensuing talks.” In addition to this, hundreds of graduates have signed a letter to St John’s College urging them to cut ties with the companies, while Oxford alumni have threatened to withhold financial support for the college should they continue their relationship with Shell and BP. Two weeks ago, students across the university took to St. John’s front quad for five days, camping out in protest against the college’s investments in Shell and BP, and to demand the declaration of a climate emergency from the college. St John’s currently invests £8.1 million in these companies, which are actively starting new fossil fuel projects that finance misinformation campaigns. New College JCR have also raised the issue. New’s JCR president Josh Attwell stated that: “While I support divestment, I would like my letter that this motion wants me to send to show awareness that College needs a longer time scale to work on big things like this. We want them to still cooperate on divestment, as we understand how hard this change is.” Oriel College also proposed a motion to send a letter to the college’s President and Principle Bursar on behalf of their JCR. In the minutes from their meeting, a message from St John’s JCR president was read out stating that: “the whole College is pretty much on lockdown as the front entrance and several side entrances are closed – we have to enter College through a small turnstile, which isn’t ideal, especially for students with disabilities.” St Anne’s College was one of the first to communicate their support for the protestors at St John’s, passing a JCR motion on Sunday which stated that: “The climate crisis is a real existential threat, and an Oxford College has a duty to its members not to support companies which threaten the climate and fund misinformation campaigns.” The motion has since passed with 30 votes in favour, and 20 against. The St Anne’s motion states that although the college eventually agreed to meet with student protestors to discuss divestment and the occupation ended, this “doesn’t excuse or diminish the cruelty with which the college treated the students during the occupation.” The president’s message went on to add: “In any letter I end up writing to College, I reckon I’ll say something that the JCR supports the campaign to divest from fossil fuels, whilst supporting the right to peaceful protest, but also asking that College be better prepared to deal with this should it happen again in the future.” This claim comes as a response to St John’s treatment of a number of student activists. It is reported that some students of the college had their keys temporarily deactivated after they were involved in the occupation. The college also reportedly cut off supply lines into the college, making it difficult for protestors to get food. The JCR motion sparked debate at the Oriel meeting, with some arguing that activists had not followed the procedure which would best encourage the college to divest; students brought attention to the disruption this might cause to those completing their final year studies, and called the process which was undertaken by the activists “dangerous.” The motion went on to say: “St John’s effective punishment of students involved in the action is an abuse of power that is reactive to the threat that activists present to an entrenched financial system.” A number of Oxford colleges have expressed solidarity with protestors campaigning for “direct action for divestment” at St John’s College. The New College motion passed on the 3rd February through online voting.
FJ Reitz High School Big Blue Boosters continues its leadership of the school’s historic 100th anniversary commemoration. This winter two events are planned.On Tuesday, February 15, at Willard Library Conference Room, from 6 until 7:45 pm, Boosters are hosting a panel discussion on integration at FJ Reitz. The period covered will be the 1950s through the mid 1980s with personal reflection. Moderator will be retired educator Patricia Wisdom. Audience comment time is allowed. The event is free, but hosts request registration through Facebook.Events. https://www.facebook.com/events/2226701147594713/On Saturday, March 16, in FJ Reitz Big Blue Boosters will host a 100th anniversary Re-dedication Brunch in the school cafeteria. Doors open at 10 am. Brunch is served at 10:30, priced at $12. History tours of the school will be offered and an exhibit of memorabilia. Retired teachers are especially sought and encouraged to attend. The event is ADA accessible. Tickets can be obtained by calling Ann Ennis at 812 483-5671.Big Blue Boosters is a 35-year-old non-profit supporting extracurricular activities at FJ Reitz High School. In the last 10 years alone the group has raised and donated more than a quarter million dollars for student programs and teams. Since 2015, Big Blue has assumed a mantle of leadership for the school’s 2018-2019 100th anniversary events and fund campaign. For information on the Century Campaign and Big Blue Boosters, see www.fjreitzbigblueboosters.orgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Michael AllegrettoCity Council will vote Thursday on hiring City Council Vice President Michael Allegretto as the director of the city’s Department of Community Services.The department handles recreation and public relations services, among other tasks, and the director’s salary falls in a range set by ordinance at a maximum of $101,019.Kristin Gallagher was hired in September 2014 to lead the department, but she resigned in May, and the position has not yet been filled.“Mr. Allegretto is well-versed in local government and is active with recreation programs, city events, the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Development Commission, Business and Neighborhood Development and the merchants’ associations,” Mayor Jay Gillian wrote in a memo to council. “His experience on City Council and the Board of Education will be extremely valuable in the day-to-day leadership of this department.”Gillian said that, if approved, Allegretto could start work as soon as Sept. 14. He did not specify Allegretto’s proposed salary but said it would fall within the ordinance.Allegretto is a 1989 graduate of Ocean City High School and a 1993 graduate of The College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.A lifelong resident of Ocean City, Allegretto currently works as an office manager at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. He lives in Ocean City with his wife and two children.He was elected to his third term on City Council in 2014 and served as council president from 2010-2013. He was an Ocean City Board of Education member from 1999 to 2006 (board president 2004-05).The state’s local government ethics law prohibits some governmental entities from hiring officials within a year of the time they leave office. But that appears to be limited to members of “independent local authorities” and not to “local government officers,” City Solicitor Dottie McCrosson said last week when asked about the potential conflict.Allegretto will not be able to vote on his own appointment.The public City Council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. Here are some other agenda items that might be of interest.Tony Wilson Conflict: City Council will vote on approving a shared services agreement with Sea Isle City to provide plumbing inspections at $50 per hour on jobs completed by C. Leo Wilson Plumbing and Heating, the local company owned by Councilman Tony Wilson. Because Wilson, as a member of council, has budgetary control over the Ocean City office in charge of code inspections, Ocean City asked Sea Isle to take over inspections of his jobs to avoid the appearance of any sort of conflict of interest. Ocean City has received no invoices to date for inspections completed by Sea Isle City, according to a public records request from OCNJ Daily.Crawlspace and Storage Room Deed Restriction: Because so many, homes were being elevated after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Ocean City passed an ordinance requiring sellers to create deed restrictions reminding buyers that ground-level crawlspaces cannot be used as habitable space. Council will vote Thursday to remove the requirement for deed restrictions (but keep the use restriction).Parking Changes: Council will vote on the second reading of changes to the ordinance that governs parking fees. The impetus of the amendments was to create new public parking (about 13 spots) in the lot on Sixth Street at the Ocean City Fire Department. But the city made minor revisions to the entire ordinance at the same time. A complete list of the proposed changes (marked in red) are included in the PDF below.Environmental Commission Report: Ocean City’s Environmental Commission will provide its annual report to City Council.
Bakers and butchers across Britain are gearing up for this year’s World Scotch Pie Championships, taking place at Lauder College, Dunfermline, on 7 November.Entry forms have been sent to the 135 members of The Scotch Pie Club, with a record entry expected.Last year’s Scotch Pie Champion, Keith Stuart, has seen his overall sales rise by 10% since his debut win last November.Stuart, bakery director at Stuart’s of Buckhaven, which has 19 shops in Fife, said: “We were absolutely delighted to win the event for the last year and our overall sales have seen an increase of 10% in the period since November 2007. Part of that rise has been due to the marketing of our unique Irn-Bru sausages, which took off with our regulars and also with the media from all over Britain.”The baker is likely to stick to the same recipe that won last time round. He added: “It’s been a brilliant year for the company, but I know competition will be fierce.”Previous winners that are also expected to enter include: Lewis Maclean of Macleans Highland Bakery, Forres; Paul Boyle of Boghall Butchers, Bathgate; Thomas Auld & Sons of Greenock; Robert Cowan of the Bon Bon Cake Shop, Airdrie; and Alan Devlin of Sugar and Spice, Auchterarder.A Scotch pie consists of a thin pastry shell filled originally with minced mutton mixed with rusks, seasoning and water. It is topped with a thin pastry lid.Organiser Alan Stuart added: “The Scotch pie is one of Scotland’s best-loved food icons.”
With your permission, Mr Speaker, I will make a statement about the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.Let me start by paying tribute to my right honourable friend the Member for Haltemprice and Howden, And his Herculean efforts along with my HF the Member for Wycombe and the wider Dexeu team, To get us to this point …… in both the negotiations and the successful passage of the EU Withdrawal Bill. It is a striking achievement.My RHF is a loss to Government, but I suspect … with the mildest apprehension … a considerable gain to this House.Shortly, we will publish the government’s White Paper on the UK’s Future Relationship with the European Union.It is a new and detailed proposal for a principled, pragmatic and ambitious future partnership between the UK and the EU, in line with the policy agreed at Chequers last week.I am placing a copy of the White Paper in the Libraries of both Houses, but let me briefly set out the key proposals.Mr Speaker, the Government is determined to build a new relationship that works for both the UK and the EU,One grounded in our shared history, But which looks to a bright and ambitious future. A relationship that delivers real and lasting benefit to both sides.First, Mr Speaker the White Paper confirms that the UK will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, forging a new way in the world – outside the Single Market, outside the Customs Union.It safeguards the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK.It reclaims the UK’s sovereignty. And it protects our economic interests, by minimising the risk of disruption to trade.Mr Speaker, it delivers on the instruction we received loud and clear from the British people – to take back control of our laws, our borders, and our money.In delivering on this vision, the Government proposes an innovative and unprecedented economic partnership, Maintaining frictionless trade through a new UK-EU free trade area for goods underpinned by a common rule book,Covering only those rules necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border.This will support business, And meet our shared commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland, Avoiding recourse to the so-called ‘backstop solution’.A key component of this will be our proposal for a Facilitated Customs Arrangement (FCA), a business-friendly model that removes the need for new routine customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU, Whilst enabling the UK to control its own tariffs to boost trade with the rest of the world.We want a deep and comprehensive deal on services, based on the principles of international trade. Our approach minimises new barriers to service provision, Allowing UK firms to establish in the EU and vice-versa, And it provides for mutual recognition of professional qualifications.On financial services, we propose a new economic and regulatory approach with the EU that will preserve the mutual benefits of our uniquely integrated markets, While protecting financial stability.And, critically, the autonomy of our own rule-making.Crucially, our proposals on services provide the UK with regulatory flexibility in the sector… including our dynamic, innovative and digital sectors …. which will, in turn, open up new possibilities in relation to trade with the wider world.Mr Speaker, as we leave the EU, free movement of people will come to an end. We will control the number of people who come to our country.We will assert stronger security checks at the border. The Government will also seek a reciprocal mobility arrangement with the EU,In line with the approach we intend to take with other key trading partners around the world.In practice, having ended free movement, this is about enabling firms to move their top talent across border to deliver services,Facilitating travel without a visa for tourism and business trips,And making sure that our students and youngsters, in the UK and EU, Continue to benefit from the educational opportunities in universities, colleges and indeed the rich tapestry of cultural life across the continent.Next, Mr Speaker, the White Paper addresses Europe’s security, which has and will remain the UK’s security. This is why the Government has made an unconditional commitment to maintain it.The Government’s proposal is for a new security partnership with the EU to tackle the shared, complex and evolving threats, Enabling the UK and EU to act together on some of the most pressing global challenges.It is important that the UK and EU can continue operational cooperation on law enforcement and criminal justice to keep people safe across Europe.Our proposals extend to other areas of cooperation of vital importance to the UK and EU, including the continued protection and exchange of personal data, new arrangements on fishing, and cooperative accords on science and innovation, culture and defence research.Mr Speaker, when we leave the EU, the European Court will no longer have jurisdiction over this country. At the same time, we need to be able to interpret what we have agreed accurately and consistently,And manage any future bones of contention sensibly and responsibly.Our proposals provide for proper accountability and the consistent interpretation of UK-EU agreements by both parties.We envisage resolving disputes that may arise through arbitration,Which is fair, balanced and reflective of global practice.And to provide the foundation for an enduring new relationship, the agreement must be flexible enough to enable us to review and – if necessary – revise its operation over time, in the best interests of this country,As is common in free trade agreements across the world.Finally Mr Speaker I would like make one thing very clear. We will not sign away our negotiating leverage, or spend taxpayers’ money in return for nothing.The financial settlement, which was agreed in December – substantially lower than EU demands – was agreed on the basis that it would sit alongside a deep and mutually beneficial future partnership.We agreed that we would meet our commitments ‘as they fall due’, With ever declining payments over a finite period, which add up to a tiny fraction of what would have been our net contribution.Both sides have been clear nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.Indeed, that is in keeping with the spirit of Article 50.There should be a firm commitment in the Withdrawal Agreement requiring the framework for the future relationship to be translated into legal text as soon as possible.And of course if one party fails to honour its side of the overall bargain, there would be consequences for the whole deal.For our part, today, the UK Government is demonstrating, with good faith, and good will, our ambition and resolve to ensure we build that deep and special partnership, with the publication of this White Paper.Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister first outlined a blueprint for a deep and special relationship with the EU at Lancaster House, and expanded it further in her speeches in Florence, Munich and at Mansion House.Those speeches have shaped, and they continue to shape, our negotiations with the EU. I am confident that a deal is within reach, given the success of the Prime Minister and her negotiating team so far.Most issues under the Withdrawal Agreement have by now been resolved, With a deal in place to secure the rights of over three million EU citizens living in the UK and around a million UK citizens living in the EU.And we have agreed a time-limited implementation period which gives businesses, governments and citizens the certainty to plan their lives, and invest for the future.We will shortly publish a White Paper on the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill, setting out how we will give effect to the Withdrawal Agreement in domestic law and demonstrating to the EU that the UK is a dependable negotiating partner, One that will deliver on its commitments.So Mr Speaker, our discussions with the EU will squarely focus on our shared future. This White Paper sets out how we can achieve that new partnership.Now, it is time for the EU to respond in kind. We approach these negotiations with a spirit of pragmatism, compromise and indeed friendship.I hope, I trust that the EU will engage with our proposals in the same spirit,And I plan to meet Michel Barnier next week to discuss the detail in person.At the same time, Mr Speaker, the government is preparing, in the event that that spirit of pragmatism and goodwill is not reciprocated.And on Monday, I spoke with my right honourable friend, the Prime Minister.We agreed to step up our planning for a no-deal scenario, So that the UK is ready for Brexit … no matter what the outcome of these negotiations. It is the responsible thing for a Government to do.Mr Speaker, this White Paper sets out the right Brexit deal:Delivering on the result of the referendum, taking back control over our money, laws and borders.Supporting the economy By maintaining a strong trading relationship after we have left.Ending free movement,Whilst avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, or indeed between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.Restoring the sovereignty of Parliament and the authority of the UK Supreme Court.Seizing the opportunity to forge new trade deals around the world.And maintaining cooperation with the EU in many other areas we prize, including security co-operation to keep our people safe.This is our vision for a bold, ambitious and innovative new partnership with the EU.Principled and practical,Faithful to the referendum,It delivers a deal that is good for the UK, and good for our EU friends,And I commend this statement and the White Paper to the House.
On Saturday, The Peach Music Festival continued at Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA with a packed schedule featuring some of the most exciting acts in the scene. The day’s schedule included Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Devon Allman Project ft. Duane Betts, Spafford, Aqueous, Ghost Light, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, and many more, in addition to special performances like a Gov’t Mule “Dark Side of the Moon”.In addition, one of the most unique and highly anticipated sets of the day was another special tribute set that saw Little Feat join forces with moe., the Turkuaz Horns, and the Ramble Band Horns to recreate and pay homage to their classic live album, Waiting For Columbus. With moe.’s Al Schnier serving as the set’s musical director, the current touring iteration of Little Feat served as the house band throughout the set as members of moe. rotated in for various different songs. You can watch a crowd-shot video of “Spanish Moon” from the Waiting For Columbus set at The Peach below, shared via the band’s Facebook page:Little Feat w/ moe., Turkuaz Horns, & More – “Spanish Moon”You can also watch a full fan-shot video of the set below, courtesy of Stevie Combs.Little Feat w/ moe., Turkuaz Horns, Ramble Band Horns – Waiting For Columbus – Full SetThe Peach Music Festival wraps up on Sunday with performances from Gov’t Mule, Dickey Betts, Oteil & Friends, Dumpstaphunk, Organ Freeman, and more.For a full list of Little Feat’s upcoming performances, head to the band’s website.
Over the next 10 years, the number of cargo containers operating out of the Port of Savannah, Georgia, is expected to double. While additional cargo means increased revenue for the state, Chuck Bargeron, associate director of the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, is concerned it could also lead to the establishment of more invasive species.The center has identified more than 2,900 different species of wildlife, plants and insects that are present in, but not native to, North America. Many of those species come from Asia, where the ships that deliver cargo to the Port of Savannah originate.“Doubling the number of ships that operate through this port is great for the health of the state’s economy, but in doing so, we can expect more invasive species to arrive as well. It’s inevitable,” Bargeron said. According to the Georgia Ports Authority website, the ports of Savannah and Brunswick had a total tonnage of 30,832,880 in 2016, a growth of 16 percent over the previous five years.The wood pallets on which the cargo is transported play host to most incoming invasive species. If the pallets are not properly heat-treated, then wood-boring pests, like the Asian longhorned beetle and the oak splendour beetle, could find a home in the pallet and relocate to North America in the process.Invasive pests can better be contained if they are quickly identified before they spread, Bargeron said. The center has developed several apps for reporting invasive species. The Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System for Integrated Pest Management, called “EDDMapS IPM,” and regional reporting apps, like IveGot1, allow anyone to submit invasive species observations from the field. These reports are uploaded to a database and automatically emailed to local and state experts for review. The app captures the user’s precise location and allows the user to attach a picture of the species being reported.Michael Toews, a UGA Cooperative Extension entomologist and center co-director, oversaw the development of EDDMapS IPM. The app, which is compatible with Apple and Google Android devices, allows scientists and farmers to track pests and make informed management decisions based on real-time conditions. “These smartphone apps are critical tools for responding to invasive species in Georgia and throughout the country. Nearly everyone has access to a smartphone that can be utilized to upload a picture and information that enables specialists to quickly respond to this threat,” Toews said.Toews was instrumental in researching the kudzu bug and assisting Georgia’s soybean farmers after the bug was identified in the U.S. in 2009.“Shortly after its arrival, Georgia’s soybean crop became highly susceptible to the invasive kudzu bug. While the bug’s impact has diminished recently, it is definitely an example of how an invasive species can negatively impact Georgia’s crop production,” Toews said.Bargeron attributes the impact of invasive species to the way they respond to their new surroundings.“The way they behave here is different than the way they behave in their native environments. For example, think about Burmese pythons. It is estimated that there are more Burmese pythons in south Florida than in their native range in southern Asia. Burmese pythons are at the top of the food chain in the Everglades,” Bargeron said. “They were able to take over and really succeed. That’s something no one considered when they were letting people bring pythons in (to the U.S.) as pets.”North American Invasive Species ForumUGA recently hosted the North American Invasive Species Forum on May 9-11 in Savannah at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden at the Historic Bamboo Farm. The conference provided a forum for sharing knowledge about invasive species management across North America. Representatives from 26 states, Canada, Mexico and India attended the event.Bargeron talked about the North American Invasive Species Network and management of invasive species within North America through collaboration and cooperation.“Invasive species are nothing new, but what’s being done to manage them is always evolving. Forums like this allow us to discuss what management ideas are working in one location and how they might work in another,” he said.The center’s list of invasive species can be found at www.invasive.org.(Sharon Dowdy contributed to this story.)
Change 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. 4.16.2010
Japan’s exports fell in May at the fastest pace since the 2009 global financial crisis as US-bound car shipments plunged, bolstering expectations for a deep contraction in the world’s third-largest economy this quarter.Weak global demand for cars and slowing business spending could drag on Japan’s export-led economy, even as China-bound trade shows signs of picking up and US and European economies reopen.The trade data came a day after the Bank of Japan increased its support through lending schemes for struggling businesses to US$1 trillion. Shipments to Asia, which account for more than half of Japanese exports, declined 12 percent, and exports to the European Union also fell 33.8 percent.Japan’s economy slipped into recession for the first time in 4-1/2 years in the first quarter and is on course for its deepest postwar slump as the pandemic ravages businesses and consumers.Analysts warn of an even bleaker picture for the current quarter as consumption crumbled after the government requested citizens to stay home and businesses to close.Overall imports fell 26.2 percent in the year to May, versus the median estimate for a 20.4 percent decrease, posting the biggest drop since October 2009.As a result, the trade balance came to a deficit of 833.4 billion yen ($7.77 billion), versus the median estimate for a 1.07 trillion yen shortfall.Topics : Ministry of Finance (MOF) data out Wednesday showed Japan’s exports fell 28.3 percent in the year to May, worse than a 26.1 percent decrease expected by economists in a Reuters poll.That followed a 21.9 percent decline in April and marked the biggest annual drop since September 2009.US-bound exports – Japan’s key market — halved to mark the biggest annual drop since March 2009, due to more than 70 percent declines in shipments of cars and car parts, the trade data showed.Exports to China, Japan’s largest trading partner, fell 1.9 percent in the year to May, a smaller drop than the prior month’s 4 percent annual decline.