Unemployment rate increases
Vermont Department of Employment & Training
Vermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted)
January 2003 December 2002 January 2002
Total Labor Force 351,600 351,900 345,500
Employment 337,400 338,700 332,600
Unemployment 14,300 13,200 12,900
Rate (%) 4.1 3.7 3.7
Montpelier - The Department of Employment and Training recently announced a
seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for January, an increase of
four tenths of a percentage point from the revised December estimate. The comparable
national rate was 5.7 percent, down three tenths of a point from the prior month.
Unemployment rates for Vermont's 13 labor market areas ranged from 2.2 percent in
Hartford, to 8.4 percent in Newport. Labor market area rates are not seasonally adjusted;
for comparison, the unadjusted rate for Vermont was 4.1 percent.
"Modest improvement in our job statistics provided a positive sign in January but
national economic conditions remained uninspiring," said Anne V. Ginevan,
Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Training. "Unemployment is
generally higher than a year ago according to our latest estimates."
The Department revised its preliminary unemployment and job estimates for 2002
according to the requirements of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This procedure is
used each year to incorporate the latest information in the monthly estimates. The revised
data indicates Vermont's unemployment rate was generally lower in the last six months
of 2002 than originally estimated. The increase from the revised December 2002
unemployment rate to the January 2003 rate reflects, at least partly, some differences in
the estimation process.
Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs jumped 2,500 in January (see graph). Government education
employment appeared to decline less than usual during the break in the school year; thus
prompting an increase in the seasonally adjusted statistics. Private educational institutions
also contributed to the surge. School calendar effects are temporary and usually offset the
next month, or soon thereafter. Retail trade experienced a modest improvement in
January, despite the usual cutbacks after the holiday season. Retail employment appeared
less robust than usual in December and apparently the cuts were more modest in January.
The detailed, unadjusted nonfarm jobs total fell by more than 5,000 due to seasonal
layoffs in education, retail, construction and manufacturing. The net decline in jobs,
however, was the smallest for January in at least 13 years. Leisure and hospitality
provided a significant employment boost, although it was less than last year at this time.