Unemployment rate holds at 3.0 percent in August

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Unemployment rate holds at 3.0 percent in August

Fri, 09/17/2021 - 1:15pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.0 percent in August, according to the Vermont Department of Labor. This reflects no change from the prior month’s revised estimate. The comparable United States rate in August was 5.2 percent, which was a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised July estimate.  

The Labor Force and the number of Employed showed significant gains from July. However, even as the number of Employed and Unemployed showed major improvement from last year, the Labor force is still down nearly 5,000 workers.

Vermont is tied for the fifth lowest rate in the nation, with New Hampshire. Nebraska is first at 2.2 percent. Nevada has the highest rate at 7.7 percent. 

In releasing the unemployment rate, VDOL Commissioner Michael Harrington said: “Recently, expanded federal unemployment benefit programs that were put in place to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 came to an end here in Vermont and across the country. While these programs have expired, our Department is still operating the State’s traditional unemployment insurance benefits program, as well as offering a full suite of re-employment services. We know these efforts will play a key role as Vermonters navigate the new economic landscape.

“Understanding your options related to employment and training is crucial when making a decision about the next step on your career path. If you are unsure of where to start, please reach out and connect with one of our local career specialists to learn more about free job seeker resources. Additionally, be sure to check out VermontJobLink.com to search for available jobs in Vermont. Employers can also use Vermont Job Link to post their open positions. More information can be found online at Labor.vermont.gov/jobs or by calling 833-719-1051.”

These data do not include the impact from the end of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which ended in Vermont on September 4. The impact of the loss of PUA and other related programs may not show up for another couple months.

The unemployment rate is estimated according to household data gathered by the US Census in the middle of each month.

The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for August show the Vermont civilian labor force increased by 1,286 from the prior month’s revised estimate (see Table 1). The number of employed persons increased by 1,247 and the number of unemployed persons increased by 39. The changes to the labor force and the number of employed persons were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The August unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.3 percent in White River Junction to 4.3 percent in Bennington (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted – see Table 2). For comparison, the August unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 3.0 percent, which was a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted July level and a decrease of two percentage points from a year ago.

Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 3)

The seasonally-adjusted data for August reports a decrease of 1,300 jobs from the revised July data. There was a decrease of 1,000 jobs between the preliminary and the revised July estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in August varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+400 jobs or +10.3%), Wholesale Trade (+100 jobs or +1.2%) and Accommodation & Food Services (+300 or +1.1%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Non-Durable Manufacturing (-400 jobs or

-3.4%), Real Estate, Rental & Leasing (-100 jobs or -3.4%) and Other Services (-300 or -2.8%).

Not-Seasonally-Adjusted (Table 4)

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for August shows a decrease of 2,500 jobs when compared to the revised July numbers. As with the ‘seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised July 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’ August data, Total Private industries have increased by 18,200 jobs (+7.9%) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 1,200 jobs (-2.5%) in the past year.

The Unemployment and Jobs Report for September is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 10 am.

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



2.2 1


2.6 2


2.9 3

South Dakota

2.9 3

New Hampshire

3.0 5


3.0 5


3.1 7


3.2 8


3.5 9


3.5 9

North Dakota

3.6 11


3.8 12


3.8 12


3.9 14


4.0 15


4.0 15


4.1 17


4.1 17


4.2 19

South Carolina

4.2 19


4.3 21

North Carolina

4.3 21


4.6 23


4.7 24

West Virginia

4.8 25


4.9 26


4.9 26


4.9 26


5.0 29


5.0 29


5.1 31


5.4 32


5.4 32

Rhode Island

5.8 34


5.9 35


5.9 35


5.9 35


6.0 38


6.2 39


6.2 39


6.4 41


6.4 41

District of Columbia

6.5 43


7.0 44


7.0 44


7.2 46

New Jersey

7.2 46

New Mexico

7.2 46

New York

7.4 49


7.5 50


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: September 17, 2021