Unemployment rate decreases to 12.7 percent in May, now below US rate

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Unemployment rate decreases to 12.7 percent in May, now below US rate

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 10:16am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased three and eight-tenths percentage points to 12.7 percent in May. This reflects a decrease of three and eight-tenths percentage points from April’s revised estimate of 16.5 percent. The comparable United States rate in May was 13.3 percent, a decrease of one and four-tenths percentage points from the revised April estimate. The Vermont Department of Labor released data on the Vermont economy for the time period covering May 2020, according to household data. 

Governor Phil Scott told VBM at his press briefing Friday that the drop in the unemployment rate was indeed good news, but that the state has a long way to go in its economic recovery.

As for now having a rate lower than the nation in some respects should not be surprising, he said because Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in the US before COVID hit. Vermont now ranks 31st.

Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington said: “The May figures show increased economic activity as companies continue to re-open. Construction, Manufacturing, Retail, and Leisure & Hospitality industries showed significant increases in employment this past month and early indications see this continuing. It is important to note that April figures were revised significantly this month drawing a more realistic picture of what Vermont actually experienced with nearly 58,000 people out of work and a statewide unemployment rate of 16.5%. While the May numbers show a positive change from the prior month, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic that is significantly impacting Vermont’s economy. That’s why it’s so important for the public and business communities to follow the safety guidelines and required protocols, so we can continue getting businesses open and people back to work as quickly as possible.” 

The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for May show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 7,745 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons increased by 6,416 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 14,161. The changes to the labor force, the number of unemployed persons, the unemployment rate and the number of employed persons were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series. 

The May unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 10.0 percent in Middlebury to 21.5 percent in Woodstock (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the May unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 12.6 percent, which was a decrease of four and two-tenths percentage points from the revised unadjusted April level and an increase of ten and four-tenths percentage points from a year ago. 

Not-Seasonally-Adjusted 

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for May show an increase of 14,800 jobs when compared to the revised April numbers. There was a decrease of 2,700 jobs between the preliminary and the revised April estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The broader economic picture can be seen by focusing on the over-the-year changes in this data series. As detailed in the preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ May data, Total Private industries have decreased by 50,100 jobs (-19.6 percent) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 5,400 jobs (-9.3 percent) in the past year. 

Seasonally-Adjusted 

The seasonally-adjusted data for May reports an increase of 15,700 jobs from the revised April data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised April numbers which experienced a decrease of 2,900 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in May varied at the sector level. Those with a notable increase include: Construction (+3,700 jobs or +48.7%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+3,800 jobs or +31.9%) and Accommodation & Food Services (+2,400 jobs or +20.0%). Sectors with a notable decrease include: Local Government (-600 jobs or -2.2%), State Government (-400 jobs or -2.1%) and Other Services (-100 jobs or -1.2%). 

Unemployment Rates for States, Seasonally Adjusted
State May 2020(P)

rate
Rank

Nebraska

5.2 1

Utah

8.5 2

Wyoming

8.8 3

Arizona

8.9 4

District of Columbia

8.9 4

Idaho

8.9 4

Montana

9.0 7

North Dakota

9.1 8

New Mexico

9.2 9

Maine

9.3 10

Connecticut

9.4 11

South Dakota

9.4 11

Virginia

9.4 11

Arkansas

9.5 14

Georgia

9.7 15

Alabama

9.9 16

Maryland

9.9 16

Minnesota

9.9 16

Iowa

10.0 19

Kansas

10.0 19

Missouri

10.1 21

Colorado

10.2 22

Mississippi

10.6 23

Kentucky

11.0 24

Tennessee

11.3 25

Wisconsin

12.0 26

Indiana

12.3 27

South Carolina

12.5 28

Alaska

12.6 29

Oklahoma

12.6 29

Vermont

12.7 31

North Carolina

12.9 32

West Virginia

12.9 32

Texas

13.0 34

Pennsylvania

13.1 35

Louisiana

13.3 36

Ohio

13.7 37

Oregon

14.2 38

Florida

14.5 39

New Hampshire

14.5 39

New York

14.5 39

Washington

15.1 42

Illinois

15.2 43

New Jersey

15.2 43

Delaware

15.8 45

California

16.3 46

Massachusetts

16.3 46

Rhode Island

16.3 46

Michigan

21.2 49

Hawaii

22.6 50

Nevada

25.3 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.

 

 

Last Modified Date: June 19, 2020

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The Unemployment and Jobs Report for June is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 17, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.