VERMONT’S JOB GROWTH REMAINS SLOW, BUT POSITIVE. UNEMPLOYMENT AT 4.9% IN MAY.Montpelier — The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2008 was 4.9 percent, up five-tenths of a point from the revised April rate of 4.4% and up 1.1 points from a year ago.”Vermont’s continued job growth is insufficient to hold down our growing unemployment rate,” said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. “This is to be expected in a national environment where unemployment is growing rapidly and the national economy continues to shed jobs. In addition, the seasonal transition in Vermont’s labor market from April to May can be quite volatile depending on weather. This can lead to rapidly changing labor statistics. We should have a better picture of the State’s labor market in the June numbers.”Vermont’s observed seasonally adjusted monthly changes in unemployment levels and unemployment rate are statistically different from April values. For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.5 percent, up a similar five-tenths of a point from April 2008. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.8 percent in Hartford to 6.4 percent in Newport. Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.6 percent, down four-tenths of a point from April 2008.Jobs Data (Vermont’s job count estimates are produced from a statewide survey of business establishments conducted under the Current Employment Survey (CES) – a cooperative effort with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.)Seasonally adjusted job levels grew by 1,200 or 0.4% over April, but remain flat over the year. Most of the growth came from the construction sector: +900 jobs or 6.1% but the sector remains down considerably on an annual basis (-600 jobs / -3.5%). We see the monthly gain as due to a slow start in April rather than a strong May. For similar reasons the Accommodations and Food Services sector shows a strong monthly decline (-600 jobs / -2.0%) What was bad weather for construction kept the ski resorts operating longer in April – thus the decline in May looked worse than is typically expected.Before seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm jobs grew seasonally by 4,500 jobs 1.5% from April to May.. Annual unadjusted job growth remains sluggish at +0.1%. Seasonal job gains were seen in construction (+2,400 / 16.4%), but the segment remains in decline showing a 650 job annual loss or -3.7%. Retail Trade jobs grew by 700 in May, but this seasonal boost was not enough to overcome annual job losses of 200 or -0.5%. Professional & Business services grew by 500 over the month and 150 or 0.7% over the year. Arts Entertainment & Recreation grew 700 jobs over the month offsetting a 700 job loss in Accommodations & Food Services. Local Government Education gained jobs in May, but this is almost certainly a school vacation scheduling issue.
According to the company, there has been a limited impact from COVID-19 on operations. However, disruption to the global supply chain has slowed down some project activities. Together with hedging gains, the reduction in operating cash flow is fully mitigated in 2020 by Neptune’s resilience plan and lower expected taxes. The company fully expects to achieve positive free cash flow for the year. Project starts and drilling pushed back “Our project pipeline represents the main area of immediate cost reductions. In addition to the impact of COVID-19 on some of our schedules, we have elected to slow the pace of investment on certain other projects, which will smooth investment across 2020-22”, the report stated. Even though this will result in first production from several projects being pushed back, the overall impact on production is limited, with reduced growth in forecasted company production in 2021 and 2022. Since March 2020, commodity prices moved sharply lower. Neptune stated that, even though it had a high hedge ratio, particularly on gas, earnings and operating cash flows in the near-term were likely to be lower than reported in the first quarter. In its report on Wednesday, Neptune Energy posted 1Q 2020 revenue of $479.7 million, a decrease when compared to the $621.1 million in the same period last year. Due to its strong operating performance and the delivery of the resilience plan, the company expects operating costs to average less than $10/boe for the full year. “We have taken decisive action across the business to increase liquidity and reduce cost while preserving long-term value. We continue to review our business to identify opportunities to reduce operating expenditure further and focus on value over volume. Jim House, CEO of Neptune, said: “Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Neptune’s operational performance in the first quarter of the year was strong. Our resilience plan and hedging activity mitigated weaker commodity prices, resulting in a robust financial performance. The development capex guidance for the year is also reduced to $700-800 million and the exploration spend is expected to be around $125 million. “The second quarter of the year is likely to be more challenging and we expect production to be lower, reflecting planned maintenance and development-related shutdowns and weaker commodity prices”. The company’s profit before taxes for the quarter amounted to $118.4 million compared to a profit of $206.6 million in 1Q2019. As previously guided, the Merakes field is expected onstream in mid-2021. The P1 Gjøa project is largely unaffected. Profit & revenues down The company’s full-year production guidance remains unchanged at 145-160 kboepd and includes the expected impact of mandatory production cuts imposed in Norway, the withdrawal from the Energean transaction, and a focus on value over volume. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and weaker commodity prices, Neptune Energy had a strong first quarter but still decided to push back several project start dates to smoothen investments through 2020-2022. Neptune’s net profit totalled $47 million in the first quarter of 2020 versus a $52.7 profit in the same quarter in 2019. Since the end of the quarter, the Touat plant in Algeria reached plateau capacity and project handover is being finalised. First production from the Njord and Duva projects is now expected to occur in the second half of 2021, with Fenja due onstream in early 2022. Start of oil production from the Seagull project is likely to be deferred until late 2022. After a strong start to 2020, Neptune expects production to be lower in the second quarter reflecting planned maintenance and development related shutdowns, partially offset by higher production at Touat and the Netherlands. The company also opted to defer several wells into 2021 and the only two wells remaining in 2020 are the Sillimanite South and Dugong exploration wells. Neptune said in its first quarter report on Wednesday that its production for the period averaged 162.1 kboepd, above its full-year guidance range. While the weakness in commodity prices is a significant challenge for the oil and gas industry, Neptune stated that it was well-positioned, with significant available liquidity, low operating costs and high levels of hedging. To protect its balance sheet, Neptune previously announced cost reduction measures of $300-400 million for 2020 across operating costs, G&A, and capex. To remind, Neptune recently terminated the agreement to acquire Edison E&P’s UK and Norwegian subsidiaries from Energean to enhance near-term liquidity by around $460 million and focus on its project pipeline. Lower output ahead
RelatedPosts Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria NSF 2020: Sports minister raises fresh hope The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, has given 25 days ultimatum for illegal occupants of Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja to vacate the facilities for proper rehabilitation to commence.The Minister stated this on Saturday during an inspection tour of the stadium. Dare said the ultimatum became necessary as the Ministry was ready to embark on serious maintenance and rehabilitation of the national sports edifice.Places visited included the Generator Room, Diesel Room, Conjunction Panel Room. Outdoor Hall of Fame, Water Fountain, Family Picnic Slop, Designated entrance to the Hall of Fame Strip and 4,000 space car park.Dare was joined on the tour by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Gabriel Aduda; and Stadium Renovation Partners from the Federal Capital Territory Authority.Tags: Moshood Abiola StadiumSunday Dare
Ballydoyle’s Aidan O’Brien has set a new world record for Group 1 winners in a single season.That’s after Saxon Warrior claimed the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster this afternoon.It’s O’Brien’s 26th Group 1 winner in a stunning season for the Tipperary based trainer