Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Green Jobs in Denver

If you're looking for a more sustainable career, you might want to check out the green jobs Denver has to offer.

These days many people who are just entering the workforce, as well as those looking to change careers, are turning to the green-collar industry for job opportunities.

Most recently, SMA Solar Technology AG announced its plan to build a production facility in Denver, a move that will create at least 300 new jobs and invest $20 million in the local economy.

"We're diversifying our energy portfolio here," Gov. Bill Ritter said. "We're addressing climate change and we're improving our energy security but at the same time, we're creating economic opportunities."

The German-based company produces solar inverters that take energy from solar panels and convert it for home use. The new facility will be located in an existing building and the company hopes to begin production within the first six months of 2010.

"(Their inverter technology) can be compared in the solar industry to what disc operating systems did to revolutionize the desktop computer," Tom Clark, with the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, told 9News.com.

The plant in Denver is the company's first plant outside of Germany. At its highest capacity, the plant will be able to expand to 700 workers. The average salary for workers with the company will be about $33,000.

"As a global company, we have made the decision to expand our product in Denver because the city offers optimal flexibility for our future growth," Pierre Urbon, chief financial officer with SMA, said. "In Europe, SMA has consistently ranked as one of the most attractive workplaces particularly because of our focus on the quality of life for our employees. We believe that Denver and Colorado and its people offer us the infrastructure and conditions to compliment this."

SMA Solar Technology AG will receive a state tax credit of $500 for every job it creates. In addition, the company was given $2 million in state economic development credits and $1 million from the city and county of Denver.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jobs in Dallas Continue to Decline

While other cities throughout Texas have done relatively well despite the state of the economy, more jobs in Dallas were lost last month as the area's unemployment rate increased.

The Texas Workforce Commission recently reported that the Dallas-Plano-Irving area lost 3,700 jobs from July to September. As a whole, the area has lost 54,100 jobs since September of last year.

The Dallas area also saw its unemployment rate increase from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent during September. However, that number is still smaller than the current national unemployment rate of 9.8 percent.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the area's unemployment rate reached 7.1 percent in January, 7 percent in February, 7.1 percent in March, 6.6 percent in April, 7.1 percent in May, 8.1 percent in June, 8.3 percent in July, 8.2 percent in August and 8.3 percent in September.

Only two industries saw an increase in employment on a month-to-month basis. The education and health services industry added 1,500 jobs during the month and has added 20,300 jobs since September 2008, making for an annual growth rate of 8.8 percent.

The government industry added 5,900 jobs from August to September and 4,600 of those jobs were in local government. However, the industry as a whole has lost 1,200 jobs, or .5 percent, from last year

The professional and business services industry saw the biggest decrease in jobs from August to September, losing 4,900 positions. The majority of job losses in that industry were in administrative and support services, which lost 3,900 positions.

Other industries that saw a monthly decrease in employment include: mining, logging and construction by 800 jobs; manufacturing by 600 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities by 1,200 jobs; financial activities by 1,800 jobs; leisure and hospitality by 1,500 jobs; and other services by 300 jobs.

When compared to last year, every industry expect education and health services lost jobs, including:
  • mining, logging and construction by 9,700 jobs or 7.6 percent
  • manufacturing by 6,400 jobs or 3.4 percent
  • trade, transportation and utilities by 20,000 jobs or 4.8 percent
  • information by 3,000 jobs or 4.3 percent
  • financial activities by 5,300 jobs or 2.8 percent
  • professional and business services by 23,000 jobs or 6.5 percent
  • leisure and hospitality by 2,400 jobs or 1.2 percent
  • other services by 3,400 jobs or 4.7 percent

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Portland Education Jobs Created by ARRA

How is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stacking up when it comes to creating Portland education jobs?

The State of Oregon recently released a report detailing exactly how federal stimulus money has been spent thus far. The report found that almost two out of every three jobs funded by stimulus spending in Oregon since February were education positions, many of which were teachers and professors.

The report found that the following educational institutions were among the top in the state to use stimulus funding in order to create jobs:

  • Oregon State University has spent $17.8 million in state fiscal stabilization funds and preserved or created about 394 full-time jobs, making it the top creator of teaching jobs under ARRA funding.
  • Portland Public Schools have spent $10.2 million and created or preserved about 324 full-time jobs, many of which are in special education.
  • Portland State University spent all of its general-purpose stimulus money, or about $52 million, on faculty salaries and benefits and hired or saved a total of about 320 jobs.
  • Beaverton School District, which is the third-largest school district in the state, has created about 281 jobs with an undisclosed amount of general purpose funding.
Although the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton area's education and health services industry has slightly declined on a month-to-month basis, the industry has come out ahead when compared to last year.

The area's education and health services industry employed 129,200 workers during August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 129,400 workers during July, but a .7 percent increase from last year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Austin Jobs Among Hottest in Country

Austin jobs are among the hottest in the country.

The Wall Street Journal recently released a list of places it predicts will be the most attractive to youths. Not surprisingly, Austin was ranked in fifth place, behind Washington, D.C. and Seattle - which were tied for first place - New York and Portland, Ore.

Home to a University of Texas campus, Austin has become a gathering place for students and young adults interested in technology and arts. The city's SXSW media and arts conference and the Austin City Limits music festival often bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city each year.

Austin, which has a population of about 757,688 people, serves as the state capital of Texas. The city is known for its significant high-tech, video game and renewable-energy sectors and has a relatively low unemployment rate and cost of living.

During August, the Austin-Round Rock area saw its unemployment rate decrease from 7.3 percent to 7.2 percent, which was lower than the national unemployment rate at the time of 9.7 percent. Prior to August, the city hadn't seen its unemployment rate decrease since April, when it went from 6.2 percent to 5.8 percent.

The area had a total non-farm employment of 768,800 workers during August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 767,900, but a .9 percent decrease from last year.

Austin has been named as: the second Best Big City in Money magazine's 2006 list of "Best Places to Live"; the third "Greenest City in America" this year by MSN; the least stressful large metro area by Forbes magazine; second in CNN Headline News and Travel and Leisure magazine's lists of the best people; the number one college town by the Travel Channel and the fifth-safest city.