Vermont Business Magazine After three consecutive weeks of increases, unemployment claims were down by nearly 300 last week. Claims for the week of April 27, 2019, fell by 281 claims to a total of 663. Claims were 50 fewer than they were at this time last year.
Altogether 5,094 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 249 from a week ago, and 346 fewer than a year ago. For most weeks of 2017 and 2018 claims were lower than the year before, but have been up and down in 2019. Vermont, like the nation as a whole, is locked into a historically low period of unemployment and a tight labor market.
For UI claims last week by industry, Services, which typically accounts for most claims, represented 57 percent of all claims. Construction claims represented 3 percent for the week, which is about the same as last week but lower than last year. Manufacturing claims represented 8 percent of the total.
Vermont's unemployment rate for March was 2.3 percent. This is the state's historic low and a decline of one-tenth from the February rate, which also was a historic low. Vermont's rate is tied for lowest in the nation. SEE STORY. The US rate remained at 3.8 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.