Vermont’s unemployment rate falls to 3.0 percent in July

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Vermont’s unemployment rate falls to 3.0 percent in July

Fri, 08/20/2021 - 12:56pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Department of Labor reported that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for July was 3.0 percent. This reflects a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate.

The comparable United States rate in July was 5.4 percent, which was a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from the revised June estimate.

Perhaps the most important news from the monthly report was that the Vermont civilian labor force increased by 1,501 from the prior month’s revised estimate (see Table 1). While this only chips away at the workforce shortage (Labor still down 8,542 from a year ago), the labor force and number of employed showed notable improvement from recent months.

Vermont has the fifth lowest rate in the US, with Nebraska number one at 2.3 percent, followed by Utah (2.6 percent), New Hampshire (2.9 percent), South Dakota (2.9 percent) and Idaho (3.0 percent). See full state table below.

Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington said: “This month’s report supports what we heard anecdotally – Vermont is continuing on a slow, yet sustained, economic recovery. Household data for Vermont shows significant increases to the labor force and the number of people employed in July, and businesses have reported increases in the number of filled positions for the third month in a row. While this is generally the case statewide, some industries and regions within Vermont continue to be more significantly affected by the lasting impacts of the pandemic. Employment in the Accommodation and Food Services sector, for example, is down nearly 20% from pre-COVID levels, and five counties – Bennington, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Rutland, and Windham – are down over 10% in employment from a year ago based on Q1 2021 data.

“We also know that the end of expanded federal unemployment benefits on September 4th could be a difficult transition for some and our goal continues to be to get as many Vermonters back to work as quickly as possible. If you are a jobseeker looking for a place to start, or a business looking to hire, the Vermont Department of Labor is here to help. Visit for more information on workforce and reemployment services.”

The number of employed persons increased by 1,513 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 12. The changes to the labor force and the number of employed persons were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

Expanded federal UI benefits to end September 6

The July unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.5 percent in White River Junction to 4.4 percent in Bennington (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted – see Table 2).

For comparison, the July unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 3.2 percent, which was a decrease of four-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted June level and a decrease of three and four tenths percentage points from a year ago.

Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 3)

The seasonally-adjusted data for July reports an increase of 6,700 jobs from the revised June data. There was a decrease of 100 jobs between the preliminary and the revised June estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in July varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Local Government (+3,700 or +14.0%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+300 jobs or +8.3%) and Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (+400 or +5.1%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Construction (-200 jobs or -1.4%) and Retail Trade (-400 or -1.2%).

Not-Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 4)

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for July shows an increase of 3,300 jobs when compared to the revised June numbers. As with the ‘seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the[1]month change is from the revised June numbers which experienced an increase of 200 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’ July data, Total Private industries have increased by 24,200 jobs (+10.7%) and Government (including public education) employment has increased by 2,000 jobs (+4.3%) in the past year.

The Unemployment and Jobs Report for August is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.


Unemployment Rates for States, Seasonally Adjusted
State July 2021(P)


2.3 1


2.6 2

New Hampshire

2.9 3

South Dakota

2.9 3


3.0 5


3.0 5


3.2 7


3.5 8


3.6 9


3.7 10


3.8 11


3.9 12

North Dakota

3.9 12


3.9 12


4.1 15


4.1 15


4.2 17


4.2 17


4.3 19

South Carolina

4.3 19


4.4 21

North Carolina

4.4 21


4.7 23


4.8 24


4.9 25


4.9 25

West Virginia

5.0 27


5.1 28


5.1 28


5.2 30


5.2 30


5.4 32


5.6 33

Rhode Island

5.8 34


6.0 35


6.1 36


6.1 36


6.2 38


6.6 39


6.6 39


6.6 39


6.6 39

District of Columbia

6.7 43


7.1 44


7.3 45


7.3 45

New Jersey

7.3 45


7.6 48

New Mexico

7.6 48

New York

7.6 48


7.7 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.

Last Modified Date: August 20, 2021