Weekly UI claims increase as ski season winds down

The state unemployment rate is also near historic low levels (2.3 percent in February).

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims rose for the week of April 6, 2024, as the ski season wound down after a late surge of snow and the expectation of eclipse visitors to the state, of which the state is still accumulating economic data. For the week, there were 423 claims, up 181 for the week but 5 fewer than this time last year. The state unemployment rate is also near historic low levels (2.3 percent in February). 

Vermont has the third lowest rate in the nation, behind North (2.0%) and South (2.1%) Dakota. California (5.3%) has the highest rate. 

The comparable United States rate in February was 3.9 percent, an increase of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised January estimate.

The civilian labor force participation rate was 65.3 percent in February, an increase of two-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate.

For new and continuing UI claims, there were a total of 3,339 claims, up 23 from the week before and 331 fewer than last year.

The US labor market continues to thrive despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool it, which mirrors an inflation rate that is ranging higher than the FED anticipated. The FED still intends to cut rates at least twice this year as recession fears have eased.

Nationally, for the week ending April 6, the US Department of Labor's advanced figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 211,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 221,000 to 222,000. The 4-week moving average was 214,250, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 214,250 to 214,500.

The Vermont Unemployment Trust Fund is well capitalized. As of last week, there was $261.1 million in the Trust Fund, up $689,485 for the week (as claims are paid out on one side, employers are contributing to the fund on the other). The pre-pandemic Trust Fund balance on March 1, 2020, was $506.2 million. 

www.vermontbiz.com