Vermont construction employment gains back some jobs after big losses

first_imgVermont gained the second most construction-related jobs in November, but still ranks only 45th in the nation over the last year. Construction employment expanded in 20 states between October and November, while the list of states with year-over-year construction job gains grew to 13 states plus the District of Columbia, the Associated General Contractors of America reported in an analysis of state employment data released today by the Labor Department. The new figures continue a year-long pattern of mixed results in construction employment as overall demand remains weak, association officials noted.‘It is encouraging that the number of states adding jobs year-over-year was higher in November than at any time since February 2008,’ said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. ‘However, the data also make clear that these gains are as spotty as they are tenuous.’Simonson noted, for example, that California had the largest monthly increase in construction employment’adding 7,800 jobs’but also the largest 12-month drop’36,900 jobs, or 6.4 percent. New Jersey and New York had the next-highest number of construction job gains in November with 4,500. New Jersey also led the nation in monthly percentage gains (3.7 percent), followed by Vermont (3.4 percent, 400 jobs) and Maine (2.5 percent, 600 jobs).The largest year-over-year percentage gains occurred in Oklahoma (9.2 percent, 6,100 jobs), New Hampshire (6.7 percent, 1,500 jobs) and Kansas (4.7 percent, 2,700 jobs). Texas had the largest increase in the number of construction employees (13,400 jobs, 2.4 percent).Washington had the largest number of monthly job losses (4,200 jobs), followed by Utah (2,400 jobs) and North Carolina (2,300). In November, employment shrank in 29 states and held steady in D.C. and Alaska.On a year-over-year basis, the largest losses were in California (36,900 jobs, -6.4 percent), Nevada (16,600 jobs, -22.0 percent’the steepest percentage decline) and Florida (12,900 jobs, -3.6 percent). Other large year-over-year percentage declines occurred in Idaho (-15.5 percent, 5,100 jobs) and Montana (-11.2 percent, 2,700 jobs). In all, 36 states lost construction jobs over the past 12 months, while construction employment was unchanged in Massachusetts.Association officials cautioned that construction employment figures were likely to fluctuate and possibly drop over the coming months as many stimulus-funded projects begin to wind down and private-sector demand remains weak. They added that newly passed legislation that prevented steep tax increases, including for many small construction firms, will help boost overall economic activity and could drive new demand for construction later next year.‘The tax bill is a step in the right direction because it will revitalize the economy and help boost private-sector construction demand,’ said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. ‘But Congress still needs to act on long-delayed infrastructure bills and provide businesses with relief from an increasingly costly regulatory burden.View construction employment figures by state and by rank.last_img read more

LA Lakers take steps back with 109-97 loss to Dallas

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error One of the more popular people in Los Angeles took his dream job fielding no expectations on how short or long his rebuilding project would take.With Luke Walton guiding the Lakers to their best start in three years, however, he liked the early returns on his players’ work ethic, team mindset and ability to collect some upset victories. Nonetheless, Walton still held concerns, mindful that his foundation has not yet had time for the cement to dry.Hence, the Lakers’ 109-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday at Staples Center should not be that surprising. Walton found the team “played a little soft in the first half.” Lakers forward Julius Randle decried the team “didn’t have a killer instinct.” In other words, the Lakers (4-4) snapped a three-game winning streak and an unbeaten mark at home because of usual growing pains attributed to young teams.“We have to forget about it,” Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell said. “The wins that we got, we talked about it that day, got over it and prepared for the next one. It’s the same thing with these losses. If we lose, get over it and prepare the best way you can for the next one.” “That’s a very well-coached and disciplined team that runs sets every time they’re down court,” Walton said. “It’s definitely harder to guard.”Meanwhile, the Lakers also took a step back offensively after previously ranking third overall in total points per game (110.3) and featuring five different players that have led the team in scoring.Jordan Clarkson (22 points), Nick Young (20 ), Lou Williams (15 points), Randle (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Russell (12 points, seven assists, five rebounds) still gave the Lakers some balanced offense. But Walton found the Lakers’ ball movement stopped against Dallas’ zone defense. Young faded after scoring 13 points in the first quarter. Russell also went scoreless in the first half and took only one shot, though he attributed that more to defensive coverages.“If they’re open, I try to make that pass,” Russell said. “If not, I try to attack.”The Lakers will try to do the same thing, intent on making Walton happy with their progress despite their latest hiccup.center_img Despite the Mavericks (2-5) nursing key injuries to Deron Williams (left calf strain), Dirk Nowitzki (right Achilles strain) and Devin Harris (right toe strain), Walton considered Dallas “more dangerous for the short term” because the depleted rotation provided a “great opportunity for players that are hungry to play and earn minutes to prove they should be getting in the rotation.”Walton still remembered how the Lakers lost Game 6 in their first-round matchup against the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 playoffs despite Raja Bell’s one-game suspension. It still stayed fresh in his mind that the Lakers upset the Golden State Warriors last year when he served as an assistant there while Kobe Bryant sat out with an injury.This time, the Mavericks gave the Lakers problems by exposing something still prevalent during their recent progress. The Lakers allowed five players to crack double-figures, including Harrison Barnes (31 points), Seth Curry (22 points), Justin Anderson (11 points) and Dwight Powell (10 points). The Lakers committed 16 turnovers. And the Lakers decried the absence of forward Larry Nance Jr. because of a concussion.“He does all the little things and we could’ve used that tonight,” Randle said. “We can definitely take that for granted.”Nonetheless, those developments exposed the Lakers’ early weaknesses thus far. They entered Tuesday’s game allowing 108 points per contest and ranking last in the NBA in turnovers (18).last_img read more

University of Northern Iowa president taking steps to address racism concerns

first_imgCEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The University of Northern Iowa president says he’s forming a committee to address minority and other students’ allegations of systemic racism on the Cedar Falls campus.President Mark Nook took responsibility in a recent letter to the university community for the university’s failure to adequately fulfill goals set by an ad hoc student group and backed by the student government.The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Nook’s action follows a social media campaign of criticism by the student group, Racial and Ethnic Coalition.Among other things, the group posted video testimonials from minority students talking about problems they’ve had on campus, including dealing with a racist professor and trying to navigate university diversity policies.last_img read more