PAI: Jobs are returning, but businesses have a ways to go

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PAI: Jobs are returning, but businesses have a ways to go

Mon, 06/22/2020 - 2:08pm -- tim

Public Assets Institute The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out more than 63,000 Vermont jobs in April, but employers began to increase their payrolls again last month. Jobs rose by 15,700 in May, by far the biggest monthly increase in at least 30 years. But even if this growth continues, it will be mid-September before the lost jobs are recovered. The service sector gained 7,700 jobs, a fraction of the nearly 50,000 lost in April. Meanwhile, Vermont’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.7 percent last month from 16.5 percent in April.

Unemployment benefits
Vermont’s weekly jobless claims hit record highs this spring—and so have unemployment benefit payments. A year ago, benefits totaled about $1 million a week. For the past month, they’ve averaged almost $14 million weekly.*

The week ended June 13, nearly 45,000 Vermonters received state benefits or federal extended benefits (PEUC) for those whose state aid had run out.

Business fallout
For most Vermont small businesses, the pandemic has had a large negative or moderate negative effect. Those were among the findings of a U.S. Census survey monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis weekly. Almost 20 percent of small businesses—fewer than 500 employees—reduced employees’ hours in early June, and over 60 percent have received federal aid through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

*These amounts do not include the $600-a-week federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments going to all eligible unemployment insurance recipients through July.

Source: Montpelier, 6.22.2020 Public Assets Institute