Statewide Seasonally-Adjusted Unemployment Rate Increases Slightly in September
The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for September 2012 increased by one-tenth of a percent from the prior month. At 5.4 percent, Vermont’s seasonally-adjusted rate continues to remain significantly lower than the national average of 7.8 percent which fell by three-tenths of one percent from the prior month. For the third straight month the Northeastern region posted increases in the unemployment rate as reflected in the standard household survey data.
“As the economy improves and people become more optimistic that they can find a job, this can be accompanied by temporary increases in the unemployment rate as people start to look for work again and thus identified in our survey data. The slowing of the rise in the unemployment rate could indicate a turning point as we examine the data. We are seeing an increase in job postings by Vermont employers, collected by our department which we believe will allow VDOL’s regional career centers to match more job seekers to available job openings in Vermont. With significant economic development projects like the project in the Northeast Kingdom, the signs of continued economic recovery are tangible in this state”, said Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan.
State of Vermont Overview
The Vermont seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percent to 5.4 percent in September. The comparable rate for the United States decreased three-tenths of a percent to 7.8 percent. The seasonally adjusted Vermont data for September show the Vermont total labor force increased by 600 from the August estimates. Total employment increased by 200 while total unemployment increased by 400. None of these over-the-month changes were statistically significant.
September unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.5 percent in Hartford to 6.7 percent in Newport (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted). For comparison, the September unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.9 percent which reflects a decrease of one-tenth of a percent from the August level and a decline of three-tenths of a percent from a year ago.
Analysis of Job Changes by Industry
The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for September show an increase of 6,800 jobs when compared to the revised August numbers. This reported over-the-month change does not include the 350 job decrease between the preliminary and the revised August estimates due to the inclusion of more data. An over-the-month increase is typical in September as educational institutions – both private and public – return to full staffing levels for the start of the school year. The broader economic trends can be detected by focusing on the changes between September 2012 and September 2011. As detailed in the preliminary ‘not seasonally adjusted’ September data, Total Private Industries have increased by 1.0 percent (2,450 jobs) and Government has decreased by 0.6 percent (-300 jobs) within the last year.
The seasonally adjusted data for September reports an increase of 100 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 a downward revision from the preliminary estimates by 400 jobs. A review of the seasonally adjusted over-the-month changes in September reflects only minimal changes in employment by industry; Private Industries experienced no net change and Total Government increased by 100 jobs. This indicates that the changes to employment by industry were consistent with historic seasonal patterns. At the sector level and in percentage terms, Construction had the largest increase (+300 jobs or +2.2 percent) and Local Government had the largest decline (-400 jobs or -1.4 percent).