Unemployment rate falls back to 2.8 percent in October

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Unemployment rate falls back to 2.8 percent in October

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 1:10pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for October was 2.8 percent. This reflects a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from the revised September rate. However, the lowered unemployment rate is largely due to a decline in the Labor Force, which shrunk by 1,127 workers. The number of Employed also fell, by 861. The only bright spot was a decrease in the number of unemployed by 266.

As the graph below indicates, the nonfarm payroll employment has been slipping for the last four months. Changes in the labor force, the unemployed and the unemployment rate were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series, the DOL reported.

The national rate in October was unchanged at 3.7 percent. As of the prior month’s preliminary data, the Burlington-South Burlington Metropolitan NECTA was tied for the thirty-sixth lowest unemployment rate in the country for all metropolitan areas. Overall, Vermont’s unemployment rate was tied for fifth lowest in the country in October. Hawaii was lowest at 2.3 percent, New Hampshire was third at 2.6 percent and Alaska was highest at 6.4 percent.

The rate had been unchanged at 2.8 percent since February. The rate has not gone up officially since April 2009 (6.7 percent to 6.9 percent), resulting from the Great Recession.

“For the fourteenth consecutive month, the Vermont unemployment rate is below 3%. Tight labor market conditions are readily apparent to nearly all Vermont employers across the industry spectrum. The October data released today shows signs of a maturing economic expansion as employers are finding it increasingly challenging to find qualified applicants to fill job vacancies.

“November 12th – 16th is National Apprenticeship Week. Workforce development professionals around the State are encouraging employers to create on-the-job training models like Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships to help narrow the gap between the demands of a position and the skills of a job seeker. The Vermont Department of Labor has resources to help employers create structured models that fit business and growth needs. Job seekers appreciate this model because not only are they “earning while they’re learning”, they also benefit from one-on-one mentoring, progressive pay raises, and a nationally recognized credential upon completion.

“I encourage Vermont businesses and individuals interested in exploring on-the-job training models and Registered Apprenticeship programs, to reach out to their local Vermont Department of Labor Career Resource Center to learn about the Registered Apprenticeship program and how the Department of Labor can help create and administer sponsored training opportunities,” said Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle.

The October unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.5 percent in White River Junction to 2.7 percent in Derby (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the October unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 1.8 percent which reflects a decrease of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted September level and a decrease of one-half of one percentage point from a year ago.

Not-Seasonally-Adjusted

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for October show an increase of 2,300 jobs when compared to the revised September numbers. There was an increase of 600 jobs between the preliminary and the revised September estimates due to the inclusion of more data.

The monthly increase seen in the October numbers was primarily attributable to seasonal activity related to education. The broader economic trends can be detected by focusing on the over-the-year changes in this data series. As detailed in the preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ October data, Total Private industries have decreased by 3,100 jobs (-1.2 percent) and Government (including public education) employment has increased by 100 jobs (0.2 percent) in the past year.

Seasonally-Adjusted

The seasonally-adjusted data for October reports a decrease of 500 jobs from the revised September data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised September numbers which experienced an increase of 200 jobs from the preliminary estimates.

The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in October were mixed at the sector level. Those with a notable increase include: Mining & Logging (+100 jobs or +14.3%), Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (+200 jobs or +2.5%), and State Government (+300 jobs or +1.6%). Sectors with a notable decrease include: Professional & Technical Services (-400 jobs or -2.8%), Finance & Insurance (-200 jobs or -2.1%), and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-100 jobs or -2.0%).

SEE TABLES BELOW

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.

Unemployment Rates for States, Seasonally Adjusted
State October 2018(P)

rate
Rank

Hawaii

2.3 1

Iowa

2.4 2

New Hampshire

2.6 3

Idaho

2.7 4

Minnesota

2.8 5

Nebraska

2.8 5

North Dakota

2.8 5

Vermont

2.8 5

Virginia

2.9 9

South Dakota

3.0 10

Wisconsin

3.0 10

Missouri

3.1 12

Colorado

3.2 13

Utah

3.2 13

Kansas

3.3 15

South Carolina

3.3 15

Florida

3.4 17

Maine

3.4 17

Oklahoma

3.4 17

Arkansas

3.5 20

Indiana

3.5 20

Massachusetts

3.5 20

Georgia

3.6 23

North Carolina

3.6 23

Montana

3.7 25

Tennessee

3.7 25

Texas

3.7 25

Oregon

3.8 28

Rhode Island

3.8 28

Delaware

3.9 30

Michigan

3.9 30

New York

4.0 32

Alabama

4.1 33

California

4.1 33

Maryland

4.1 33

New Jersey

4.1 33

Pennsylvania

4.1 33

Wyoming

4.1 33

Connecticut

4.2 39

Illinois

4.2 39

Washington

4.3 41

Nevada

4.4 42

Kentucky

4.5 43

New Mexico

4.6 44

Ohio

4.6 44

Arizona

4.7 46

Mississippi

4.7 46

Louisiana

5.0 48

West Virginia

5.2 49

District of Columbia

5.6 50

Alaska

6.4 51

Footnotes

(p) Preliminary

Note: Rates shown are a percentage of the labor force. Data refer to place of residence. Estimates for the current month are subject to revision the following month.