Unemployment rate falls to 4.2 percent in September

-A A +A

Unemployment rate falls to 4.2 percent in September

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 3:29pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Department of Labor reported that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for September was 4.2 percent. This reflects a decrease of six-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate of 4.8 percent. The Labor Force again decreased, accounting for most of the rate decline. The number of unemployed also fell. Meanwhile, the total number of employed was down by 707.

The comparable United States rate in September was 7.9 percent, a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from the revised August estimate.

Vermont has the third lowest rate in the nation, behind Nebraska (3.5 percent) and South Dakota (4.1 percent).

Michael Harrington, Vermont Labor Commissioner, said: “While the data shows that employment increased in September (nonfarm payroll), we know there are still many Vermonters out of work and businesses unable to operate at full capacity as a result of the Pandemic. And yet, we see more and more jobs come back online each and every day, showing the resiliency of Vermont’s business community. Unfortunately, our businesses can only reopen if they can find people to fill their vacant positions. If you are unemployed, or know someone who is unemployed, and are able to return to work, now is the time to begin actively looking for employment if you are not already doing so. If you are looking to develop new skills, be sure to check out the free training opportunities through the Community College of Vermont, and for jobseekers looking to return to work, or for employers with available positions, the Department’s job service known as Vermont Job Link is a great place to start. Additionally, our Workforce Development team is actively engaging with jobseekers and employers each and every day to ensure Vermont’s economy recovers as quickly as possible.”

The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for September show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 2,593 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons decreased by 707 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 1,886. The changes to the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The September unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.0 percent in White River Junction to 6.7 percent in Woodstock (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the September unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.1 percent, which was a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted August level and an increase of one and eight-tenths percentage points from a year ago.


The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for September show an increase of 5,000 jobs when compared to the revised August numbers. There was an increase of 300 jobs between the preliminary and the revised August 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’ September data, Total Private industries have decreased by 29,800 jobs (-11.5 percent) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 1,700 jobs (-3.0 percent) in the past year.


The seasonally-adjusted data for September reports an increase of 2,800 jobs from the revised August data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised August numbers which experienced an increase of 200 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in September varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Accommodation & Food Services (+2,400 jobs or +14.0%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200 jobs or +4.8%), and Construction (+500 jobs or +4.7%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Private Educational Services (-1,000 jobs or -7.8%) and Local Government (-1,400 jobs or -4.8%).

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.

The Unemployment and Jobs Report for October is scheduled to be released on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

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


3.5 1

South Dakota

4.1 2


4.2 3

North Dakota

4.4 4


4.7 5


4.9 6


5.0 7

South Carolina

5.1 8


5.3 9


5.3 9


5.4 11


5.6 12


5.9 13


6.0 14

New Hampshire

6.0 14


6.1 16


6.1 16


6.1 16


6.2 19


6.2 19


6.3 21


6.4 22


6.4 22


6.6 24


6.7 25

New Jersey

6.7 25


7.1 27


7.2 28


7.2 28


7.3 30

North Carolina

7.3 30


7.6 32


7.8 33


7.8 33


8.0 35


8.1 36


8.1 36


8.2 38


8.3 39


8.4 40


8.5 41

West Virginia

8.6 42

District of Columbia

8.7 43

New Mexico

9.4 44


9.6 45

New York

9.7 46


10.2 47

Rhode Island

10.5 48


11.0 49


12.6 50


15.1 51

(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.