Vermont Labor Market

The Vermont Department of Labor released data on the Vermont economy for the time period covering February 2019. According to household data, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for February was 2.4%. This reflects a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from the revised January rate. The current estimate of 8,436 unemployed Vermonters is the lowest total since  April 1988.

The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of one percentage point in February to a level of 2.4%. The comparable United States rate in February was 3.8%, which was a decrease of two-tenths of one percentage point from the revised January estimate. The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for February show the Vermont civilian labor force increased by 176 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons increased by 544 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 368. The changes to the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The February unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.8% in Burlington-South Burlington to 5.2% in Derby (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the February unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 2.5% which was a decrease of three-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted January level and a decrease of seven-tenths of one percentage point from a year ago.

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for February show an increase of 3,900 jobs when compared to the revised January numbers. There was a decrease of 300 jobs between the preliminary and the revised January estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The monthly increase seen in the February numbers was primarily attributable to seasonal activity related to education. 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’ February data, Total Private industries have increased by 2,000 jobs (0.8%) and Government (including public education) employment has increased by 1,100 jobs (1.9%) in the past year.

The seasonally-adjusted data for February reports an increase of 1,400 jobs from the revised January data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised January numbers which experienced no change from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally adjusted over-the-month changes in February varied at the sector level. Those with a notable increase include: State Government (+800 jobs or +4.3%), Administrative & Waste Services (+500 jobs or +4.0%), and Wholesale Trade (+200 jobs or +2.2%). Sectors with a notable decrease include:  Other Services (-200 jobs or -2.0%) and Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (-100 jobs or -1.3%).