Unemployment rate holds at 2.8 percent in October

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Unemployment rate holds at 2.8 percent in October

Fri, 11/19/2021 - 10:40am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Department of Labor reported that the seasonally-adjusted October unemployment rate was 2.8 percent. Based on household data, this reflects no change from the prior month. The September unemployment rate was revised down one-tenth of one percentage point during the revision process.

The comparable United States rate in October was 4.6 percent, which was a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised September estimate.

The Vermont numbers show modest improvement across the three major metrics, with the labor force gaining 310 people, employment up 598 and unemployment down 288. While these data points are also better than a year ago, the labor force is still down some 25,000 people with nearly that same number of jobs available. The national situation is similar, with a record “quit” rate of 3 percent.

Vermont’s labor force already was tight before the pandemic began.

“As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week in Vermont, it is important to recognize the incredible value these programs add to our economy. Apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career pathways, which allow participants to ‘learn while they earn’ and employers to grow their own talent pipelines,” said Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington.

“The Vermont Registered Apprenticeship Program has consistently demonstrated that access to effective, affordable training opportunities is critical to helping individuals improve their economic prospects, and the McClure Foundation’s Best Bet Career Training Programs for Vermonters publication further supports this by highlighting just a few of the dozens of approved apprenticeship programs across the state, including bookkeeper, production technician, graphic designer and licensed practical nurse.

“If you are an employer looking to establish an apprenticeship program or a jobseeker wanting to expand your skills, the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship team is here to help. Learn more at Labor.Vermont.gov/Apprenticeship or by calling 833-719-1051”

The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for October show the Vermont civilian labor force increased by 310 from the prior month’s revised estimate (see Table 1). The number of employed persons increased by 598 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 288. No changes were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The October unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.2 percent in White River Junction to 2.6 percent in Bennington (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted – see Table 2). For comparison, the October unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 1.7 percent, which was a decrease of three-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted September level and a decrease of one and two-tenths percentage points from a year ago.

Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 3)

The seasonally-adjusted data for October reports an increase of 400 jobs from the revised September data. There was a decrease of 800 jobs between the preliminary and the revised September estimates due to the inclusion of more data.

The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in October varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Administrative & Waste Services (+400 jobs or +3.4%), Other Services (+300 jobs or +2.9%), and Information (+100 jobs or +2.6%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Private Educational Services (-300 jobs or -2.4%), Construction (-300 jobs or -2.1%), and Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (-100 or -1.3%).

Not-Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 4)

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for October shows an increase of 4,200 jobs when compared to the revised September numbers.

As with the ‘seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised September numbers which experienced a decrease of 600 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’ October data, Total Private industries have increased by 7,900 jobs (+3.3%) and Government (including public education) employment has increased by 200 jobs (+0.4%) in the past year.


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