PAI: Is a labor market mismatch keeping jobs unfilled?

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PAI: Is a labor market mismatch keeping jobs unfilled?

Fri, 04/15/2022 - 5:28pm -- tim

Public Assets Institute, Montpelier In January 2022 Vermont had 26,000 open jobs, twice the average for that month over the previous decade. But the labor shortage might not be as acute as some employers think. This January nearly 10,000 Vermonters were officially unemployed—not working and actively seeking work.

Additionally, in 2021 an average of 11,200 were either marginally attached to the labor market—they wanted to work but had not recently sought a job—or were working part time only because they couldn’t find more hours.

Why then are so many jobs going unfilled? It’s likely that they do not match the needs of the 21,000 people seeking work, because of pay, location, schedule, health risks, or other reasons.

Gross state product
In 2021, Vermont’s gross state product saw its largest gain in the last 11 years—3.5 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars—following a decline in 2020 caused by the pandemic. The 2021 GSP was just over $36 billion in 2021 dollars, nearly matching the peak, which occurred in 2019. GSP is the total value of goods and services produced in the state.


THIS MONTH

March saw employment gains of more than 2,000—the largest monthly increase since the pandemic started and double the gains of January or February. In total, over 4,000 Vermonters started working during the first three months of 2022. Still, nearly 25,000 fewer people were employed last month than in January 2020, before the pandemic began.

Vermont’s unemployment rate falls two-tenths to 2.7 percent in March