Vermont Labor Market

The Vermont Department of Labor recently released data on the Vermont economy for the time period covering December 2018. According to household data, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for December was 2.7%. This reflects no change from the revised November rate. Embedded in this calculation is the monthly estimate of the Vermont labor force which decreased compared to the previous month’s estimate. Vermont businesses reported large seasonal gains to employment in industries related to tourism.

The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate held steady in December at a level of 2.7%. The comparable United States rate in December was 3.9%, which was an increase of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised November estimate. The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for December show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 708 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons decreased by 510 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 198. None of the changes were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The December unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.7% in White River Junction to 4.0% in Derby (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the December unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 2.3% which was unchanged from the revised unadjusted November level and a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point from a year ago.

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for December show an increase of 2,500 jobs when compared to the revised November numbers. There was an increase of 200 jobs between the preliminary and the revised November estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The monthly increase seen in the December numbers was primarily attributable to seasonal activity related to leisure and hospitality. The broader economic trends can be detected by focusing on the over-the-year changes in this data series. As detailed in the preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ December data, Total Private industries have decreased by 1,000 jobs (-0.4%) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 100 jobs (-0.2%) in the past year.

Seasonally-Adjusted The seasonally-adjusted data for December reports a decrease of 200 jobs from the revised November data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised November numbers which experienced an increase of 300 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in December were mixed at the sector level. Those with a notable increase include: Professional & Business Services (+400 jobs or +1.4%) and Manufacturing (+400 jobs or +1.3%). Sectors with a notable decrease include: Mining & Logging (-100 jobs or -12.5%), Real Estate, Rental & Leasing (-100 jobs or -3.2%) and Other Services (-300 jobs or -3.0%).