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Press Release: May 2019 Unemployment and Jobs Release

June 21, 2019

June 21, 2019

Mathew Barewicz, E & LMI Chief
State of Vermont
Department of Labor

Vermont’s Unemployment Rate Down Again

Today, the Vermont Department of Labor released data on the Vermont economy for the time period covering May 2019. According to household data, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for May was 2.1 percent. This reflects a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from the revised April rate. The current seasonally-adjusted estimate of the number of unemployed Vermonters (7,328) as well as the statewide seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate are both once again new lows since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics online historical series started in 1976.

“A 2.1% unemployment rate means that approximately 7,300 Vermonters, who are actively looking for employment, do not currently have a job. Vermont employers report there is a wide variety of career opportunities for entry level and people with years of experience. There are over 8,500 job postings in Vermont Job Link alone. If you are looking for a job, we encourage you contact the Vermont Department of Labor at 828-4355. In addition to connecting job seekers with employers, our employment specialists offer extra assistance with resume writing, interview preparation, and information about training and apprenticeship opportunities,” said Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle.

The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of one percentage point in May to a level of 2.1 percent. The comparable United States rate in May was 3.6 percent, which was unchanged from the revised April estimate. The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for May show the Vermont civilian labor force increased by 675 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons increased by 926 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 251. The changes to the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The May unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.5 percent in Burlington-South Burlington and White River Junction to 3.1 percent in Woodstock (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the May unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 1.9 percent which was a decrease of three-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted April level and a decrease of six-tenths of one percentage point from a year ago.

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for May show a decrease of 200 jobs when compared to the revised April numbers. There was a decrease of 100 jobs between the preliminary and the revised April estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The monthly decrease seen in the May numbers was primarily attributable to seasonal activity related to Leisure & Hospitality and State Government Education. 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’ May data, Total Private industries have increased by 2,300 jobs (0.9 percent) and Government (including public education) employment has increased by 500 jobs (0.9 percent) in the past year.

The seasonally-adjusted data for May reports a decrease of 300 jobs from the revised April data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised April numbers which experienced a decrease of 100 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in May varied at the sub-sector level. Those with a notable increase include: Mining & Logging (+100 jobs or +14.3%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200 jobs or +4.3%), and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing (+100 jobs or +3.4%). Sectors with a notable decrease include: Administrative & Waste Services (-500 jobs or -4.0%), Retail Trade (-500 jobs or -1.3%), and Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (-100 jobs or -1.2%).