Labor commissioner sees signs of stabilizing economy

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(Host) There’s plenty of talk about layoffs, but state Labor Commissioner Patricia Moulton Powden says there are some signs that the economy may have begun to stabilize.

(Moulton Powden) "Clearly we’re seeing an increase in unemployment, but not at the same pace we’ve seen over the last few months."

(Host) Moulton Powden says the number of people filing new claims for unemployment has begun to level off.

Part of that can be explained by the time of year. Spring tends to be when people return to work in industries such as construction.

The state has seen some indications that crews are going back to work. But Moulton Powden says there won’t be any statistics to confirm that until next month.

(Moulton Powden) "The expectation is that we’ll see federal stimulus coming, in terms of construction. I know for our own department, we’ve got several million dollars worth of proposals for summer youth employment. Unfortunately, the proposals exceed our available funds, but that’s certainly going to mean there’ll be more youth working this summer, in addition to adults that we hope and expect will be working in construction, weatherization and other activities.”

(Host) Moulton Powden says there are still plenty of people searching for a job. But she says she’s hopeful that the spring and summer construction seasons will help to boost the economy.

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