Vermont Labor Market

The Department of Labor has released data on the Vermont economy for the time period covering September 2020. According to household data, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for September was 4.2%. This reflects a decrease of six-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate of 4.8%.

The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased six-tenths of one percentage point to 4.2% in September. The comparable United States rate in September was 7.9%, a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from the revised August estimate. The seasonally adjusted Vermont data for September show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 2,593 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons decreased by 707 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 1,886. The changes to the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The September unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.0% in White River Junction to 6.7% in Woodstock (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the September unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.1%, which was a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted August level and an increase of one and eight-tenths percentage points from a year ago.

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for September show an increase of 5,000 jobs when compared to the revised August numbers. There was an increase of 300 jobs between the preliminary and the revised August estimates due to the inclusion of more data. 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’ September data, Total Private industries have decreased by 29,800 jobs (-11.5%) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 1,700 jobs (-3.0%) in the past year.

The seasonally-adjusted data for September reports an increase of 2,800 jobs from the revised August data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised August numbers which experienced an increase of 200 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in September varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Accommodation & Food Services (+2,400 jobs or +14.0%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200 jobs or +4.8%), and Construction (+500 jobs or +4.7%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Private Educational Services (-1,000 jobs or -7.8%) and Local Government (-1,400 jobs or -4.8%).