Niagara Gazette — Unemployment increased slightly throughout Niagara County, where 8,000 residents were jobless in December, an increase of about 100 since November. But that’s better than in December 2012, when 10,200 were unemployed. The countywide unemployment rate increased to 7.3 percent from 7.1 percent in November, both lower than the 9.2 percent reported in December 2012.
For the entire Buffalo Niagara Falls region, the unemployment rate dipped to 6.5 percent in December. That is the lowest level for any month in the past five years for the region.
The December jobless rate was slightly less than the November rate, 6.6 percent, and was significantly lower than the 8.4 percent rate in December 2012. It was the lowest December jobless rate for the region since December 2007, when it was 5.5 percent. But 21,000 fewer people are employed now than in December 2007.
“The labor force is down a little, but that’s nothing to worry about,” said John Slenker, the Labor Department’s regional analyst. “We’re showing steady improvement ... . Not every sector is up, but you get that in any economy.”
No changes for Spartech plant
PolyOne, the Ohio-based company that owns the former Spartech plant in the Town of Lockport’s IDA Park, isn’t planning on making any changes at the Lockport facility.
In a Jan. 7 release, PolyOne Corp. said it was “realigning” the Spartech locations the company bought in 2013. That movement includes closing an office in Washington, Pa., and moving that work to Seabrook, Texas. Twenty jobs were cut.
Also, the Lockport facility and the Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant, also a former Spartech location, will now operate as part of PolyOne’s producer services unit, a business unit of PolyOne’s performance products and solutions division.
And as a result, no hires or layoffs are coming to the Lockport plant, PolyOne officials said.
Jarosz joins Lipsitz & Ponterio
Michael J. Jarosz has joined Lipsitz & Ponterio as an associate attorney. He will focus his practice on representing individuals suffering from occupational diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. He will also represent children poisoned by the ingestion of lead-based paint and appear in workers’ compensation court on behalf of claimants.