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New York News

Job Postings Up: Stratton Pushes For New WPA

By Dave Lucas

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-881289.mp3

Albany, NY – New job posting figures and an area mayor's visit to Washington are raising hopes that the slow and uneven recovery of the economy will smooth out and speed up.

Job postings in the Capital Region again increased significantly over the past seven days, increasing over 11 percent in one week after a huge surge the week prior. Postings surpassed 3,650, up from 3,200 last week, which is a very healthy increase and indicates a much stronger market than in recent months.

"This is certainly a very good sign for job seekers and those who perhaps have been thinking about a change in career or job but have been waiting for a sign that it is time to move," said Dan Moran, Founder & President of Next-Act (www.next-act.com), a career transition management firm located in Colonie.

Moran assists individuals in identifying new careers and also those in the midst of a job search and needing direction. His firm also tracks the job market on a regional and statewide basis.

"I am seeing this in my own practice as well," he said. "People are beginning to shake off the recession and think about their future again which is very good. They are beyond just sitting on the sidelines - they are taking action in managing their career."

Other markets in New York State didn't experience an increase this week and were rather flat in the number of job postings week over week. The Capital Region continued to outpace Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse for job postings. The Capital Region is the smallest of all these markets as well.

Nationally, the number of newly laid off workers seeking jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week. The unemployment rate is 10 percent and many economists expect it to increase in the coming months. The US Labor Department reprots that initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 482,000.

A Labor Department analyst said that much of the increase last week was due to administrative backlogs leftover from the winter holidays in the state agencies that process the claims.

Some economists have declared that the recession is over and things are getting better. Others are sounding the alarm that we're in a double-dip recession, and that lean times are far from over.

Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton is taking the economic bull by the horns. He's in the nation's capitol at the winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. Stratton says he and the other mayors will be pitching ideas for creating jobs. They're meeting with President Barack Obama this afternoon.

Stratton envisions a revival of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration. Stratton plans to invite President Obama to visit Schenectady to get a firsthand look at the progress being made in reconstructing the old "Electric City" into a "green city of the future."

The increasing number of people nationwide claiming extended unemployment insurance indicates that even as layoffs are declining, hiring hasn't picked up, an indicator that some sort of additional stimulus may be needed to spark the economy.