Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims were up again last week and have risen above claims from the same time last year. For the week of March 3, 2018, there were 889 claims, 147 more than than they were the previous week and 104 more than they were a year ago. Altogether 6,456 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 374 from a week ago, but 841 fewer than a year ago. For most weeks of 2017 and into 2018 claims fell below the year before. This could reflect a transition from winter tourism season with the early onset of warmer weather. The coming weeks will show whether this is so, or if claims are trending up.
For UI claims last week by industry, Services, which typically accounts for most claims, totaled 42 percent. Manufacturing held 6 percent and Construction fell to only 17 percent of total claims, a steep decline from the previous week.
The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08).
Vermont's unemployment rate for December was 2.8 percent. This reflects a one-tenth drop from the revised November, October and September rates (2.9 percent), as all the major indicators slightly improved (the January rate will be made public March 12). SEE STORY.
On July 1, 2017, the state reduced taxable rates for individual employers according to their experience rating. The rate reduction cut the highest UI tax rate from 8.4 percent to 7.7 percent, and the lowest rate from 1.3 percent to 1.1 percent. Additionally, July 1 marked the sunset of a provision that required claimants to wait one week between the time they were determined eligible for benefits to when they could collect those benefits.
Rates potentially will fall again on July 1, 2018 and payments will increase on January 1, 2019, as claims continue to be lower than previous projections. The rate reduction anticipated in July of 2018 will reduce the highest UI tax rate from 7.7. percent to 6.5 percent. The lowest UI tax rate will see a reduction from 1.1 percent to 0.8 percent.
NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) - A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment "by place of work." Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.