Vermont unemployment rate falls to 2.9 percent

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Vermont unemployment rate falls to 2.9 percent

Fri, 04/16/2021 - 10:40am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell again and at 2.9 percent in March is back under 3 percent for the first time since just before the pandemic hit in early 2020. The Vermont Department of Labor released the report Friday morning. The rate reflects a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate of 3.0 percent. It was revised down from 3.1 percent. Vermont now is tied for the lowest rate in the nation with three Western states (see table below). New Hampshire was next at 3.0 percent.

The data also showed improvement. The decline in the state's unemployment rate over several months has been driven largely by a steep decline in the total Labor Force. But the Labor Force was barely down this month (-84), while total Employed increased (+242) and total unemployed decreased (+326). 

Commissioner's Message

“As of the end of last week, there were 33,818 Vermonters filing for unemployment benefits, and in the last month alone, Vermont reported an increase of 1,600 new jobs, bringing the total number of Vermont jobs to 288,700. Additionally, there are more than 6,000 open jobs posted in Vermont Job Link waiting for applicants. All of this highlights the growing demand for talented and dedicated employees to help businesses recover from the Pandemic. For individuals preparing to re-enter the labor force, working with the Department of Labor’s workforce development team can ensure you have all the tools necessary to compete in the post-COVID labor market.”  - Michael Harrington, Labor Commissioner

State of Vermont Overview

The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of one percentage point to 2.9 percent in March. The comparable United States rate in March was 6.0 percent, which was a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised February estimate. The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for March show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 84 from the prior month’s revised estimate (see Table 1). The number of employed persons increased by 242 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 326. None of the changes were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The March unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.5 percent in Northfield-Waitsfield to 4.5 percent in Derby (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted – see Table 2). For comparison, the March unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 3.3 percent, which was an increase of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted February level and an increase of four-tenths of one percentage point from a year ago.

Analysis of Job Changes by Industry
Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 3)

The seasonally-adjusted data for March reports an increase of 1,600 jobs from the revised February data. There was an increase of 200 jobs between the preliminary and the revised February estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in March varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Construction (+300 jobs or +2.0%), Accommodation & Food Services (+300 jobs or +1.4%) and Retail Trade (+400 jobs or +1.2%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (-100 jobs or -1.2%), Private Educational Services (-100 jobs or -0.8%) and Local Government (-200 jobs or -0.7%).

Not-Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 4)

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for March shows an increase of 2,300 jobs when compared to the revised February numbers. As with the ‘seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised February numbers which experienced a decrease of 300 jobs from the preliminary estimates. 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’ March data, Total Private industries have decreased by 18,500 jobs (-7.2%) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 3,700 jobs (-6.5%) in the past year.

Unemployment Rates for States

Unemployment Rates for States, Seasonally Adjusted
State March 2021(P)
rate
Rank

Nebraska

2.9 1

South Dakota

2.9 1

Utah

2.9 1

Vermont

2.9 1

New Hampshire

3.0 5

Idaho

3.2 6

Iowa

3.7 7

Kansas

3.7 7

Alabama

3.8 9

Montana

3.8 9

Wisconsin

3.8 9

Indiana

3.9 12

Minnesota

4.2 13

Missouri

4.2 13

Oklahoma

4.2 13

Arkansas

4.4 16

North Dakota

4.4 16

Georgia

4.5 18

Florida

4.7 19

Ohio

4.7 19

Maine

4.8 21

Kentucky

5.0 22

Tennessee

5.0 22

Michigan

5.1 24

South Carolina

5.1 24

Virginia

5.1 24

North Carolina

5.2 27

Wyoming

5.3 28

Washington

5.4 29

West Virginia

5.9 30

Oregon

6.0 31

Maryland

6.2 32

Mississippi

6.3 33

Colorado

6.4 34

Delaware

6.5 35

Alaska

6.6 36

Arizona

6.7 37

Massachusetts

6.8 38

Texas

6.9 39

Illinois

7.1 40

Rhode Island

7.1 40

Louisiana

7.3 42

Pennsylvania

7.3 42

New Jersey

7.7 44

District of Columbia

7.8 45

Nevada

8.1 46

California

8.3 47

Connecticut

8.3 47

New Mexico

8.3 47

New York

8.5 50

Hawaii

9.0 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: April 16, 2021