Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell last week as the holiday layoff subsided. For the week of January 5, 2019, there were 699 claims, 804 fewer than they were the previous week, and 246 fewer than they were a year ago. The holiday season usually sees wild swings in claims, as retailers in particular hire and layoff workers in spikes in November and December.
Altogether 6,454 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 546 from a week ago, but 463 fewer than a year ago. For most weeks of 2017 and 2018 claims have been lower than the year before. Vermont, like the nation as a whole, is locked into a historically low period of unemployment.
For UI claims last week by industry, Services, which typically accounts for most claims, represented 31 percent of all claims. Construction claims again were were high also at 31 percent and Manufacturing saw a steep decrease (14 percent), as the categories were lower than at the same time last year.
Vermont's unemployment rate for November 2018 was 2.7 percent. This is a decrease of one-tenth. Vermont's rate is 5th lowest in the nation. SEE STORY. The US rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent.
UI tax rates for employers fell again on July 1, 2018, as claims continue to be lower than previous projections. Individual employers' reduced taxable wage rates will vary according to their experience rating; however, the rate reduction will lower the highest UI tax rate from 7.7 percent to 6.5 percent. The lowest UI tax rate will see a reduction from 1.1 percent to 0.8 percent.
Also effective July 1, 2018, the maximum weekly unemployment benefit will be indexed upwards to 57% of the average weekly wage. The current maximum weekly benefit amount is $466, which will increase to $498. Both changes are directly tied to the change in the Tax Rate Schedule.
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.