Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont unemployment rate was down one-tenth in January, another indicator, like last week's tax revenue report, showing economic improvement. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for January was 3.1 percent. This reflects a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from the revised December rate (3.2 percent). The national rate in January was 4.8 percent, up one-tenth. As of the prior month’s preliminary data, the Burlington-South Burlington Metropolitan NECTA was tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the country for all metropolitan areas at 2.1 percent (not-seasonally-adjusted). Overall, Vermont’s unemployment rate was tied for seventh lowest in the country for the same time period.
“The initial numbers for January 2017 show the Vermont economy heading in a positive direction. Staff continue to review the recently revised 2016 data to learn about emerging economic trends. One early observation from the 2016 data is a significant improvement in the U-6, the broadest measure of labor market under-utilization. This figure, which captures the unemployed, discouraged workers and people working part-time because they cannot find full time work, had remained stubbornly high during the recent recovery. 2016 shows a large drop in the rate mostly driven by an increase in the number of people finding full time employment. Tight labor market conditions persist which is why we encourage people to contact their local Department of Labor office. The Department is committed to improving the employment outcomes for all Vermonters across the state. Through our 12 regional offices, the Department provides free services to job-seekers and employers alike. Contact us to learn more”, said Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle.
The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for January show the Vermont civilian labor force increased by 900 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed increased by 1,150 and the number of unemployed decreased by 250. None of the changes were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.
The January unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.6 percent in White River Junction, Burlington-South Burlington and Woodstock to 7.0 percent in Derby (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the January unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 3.5 percent which reflects an increase of seven-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted December level and a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from a year ago.
State of Vermont Overview
Analysis of Job Changes by Industry
The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for January show a decrease of 6,300 jobs when compared to the revised December numbers. There was a decrease of 1,900 jobs between the preliminary and the revised December estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The monthly decrease seen in the January numbers was attributable to typical seasonal movements in sectors like construction, education and retail. 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’ January data, Total Private industries have increased by 3,500 jobs (1.4 percent) and Government (including public education) employment has increased by 200 jobs (0.4 percent) in the past year.
The seasonally-adjusted data for January reports an increase of 1,300 jobs from the revised December data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised December numbers which experienced a decrease of 1,900 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in January were mixed at the industry level. Those with a notable percent increase include: Administrative & Waste Services (+400 jobs or +3.7%), State Government (+500 jobs or +2.7%), and Private Education Services (+300 jobs or +2.3%). Sectors with a notable percent decrease include: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing (-100 jobs or -3.4%), Non-Durable Manufacturing (-200 jobs or -1.8%), and Federal Government (-100 jobs or - 1.4%).
NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) - A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment "by place of work." Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.
Source: Labor Dept. 3.13.2017. The Unemployment and Jobs Report for February is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 10am.