Vermont’s Unemployment Rate Decreases to 3.2 Percent in October

20 November 2020

Today, the Vermont Department of Labor released data on the Vermont economy for the time period covering October 2020. According to household data, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for October was 3.2 percent. This reflects a decrease of one and one tenth percentage points from the prior month’s revised estimate of 4.3 percent.

Commissioner's Message

“The October data released today shows a slight decrease in the number of Vermonters who are currently filing for benefits; however, we know there are still a significant number of workers who are impacted by this Pandemic. The good news is that, while COVID transmission numbers are on the rise, there does not seem to be any significant correlation between the spread of the virus and worksite operations at this time. It is important to note that with the change in weather and the construction season coming to a close, the Department is anticipating a slight increase in new claims over the months of November and December. Finally, I urge all Vermonters to heed the guidance of the Governor and Dr. Levine, to redouble our efforts to minimize the spread of the virus. Now is the time for us to put the health and wellbeing of others before our own interests.”  - Michael Harrington, Commissioner

State of Vermont Overview

The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased one and one tenth percentage points to 3.2 percent in October. The comparable United States rate in October was 6.9 percent, a decrease of one percentage point from the revised September estimate. The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for October show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 2,227 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons increased by 1,428 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 3,655. The changes to the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The October unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.7 percent in White River Junction to 4.2 percent in Woodstock (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the October unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 2.4 percent, which was a decrease of one and eight-tenths percentage points from the revised unadjusted September level and an increase of seven-tenths of one percentage point from a year ago.

Analysis of Job Changes by Industry


The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for October show an increase of 3,400 jobs when compared to the revised September numbers. There was an increase of 900 jobs between the preliminary and the revised September estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The broader economic picture can be seen by focusing on the over-the-year changes in this data series. As detailed in the preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ October data, Total Private industries have decreased by 27,800 jobs (-10.7 percent) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 2,500 jobs (-4.2 percent) in the past year.


The seasonally-adjusted data for October reports an increase of 600 jobs from the revised September data. As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised September numbers which experienced an increase of 1,000 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in October varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Professional & Technical Services (+800 jobs or +5.7%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200 jobs or +4.5%), and Construction (+400 jobs or +3.6%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Private Educational Services (-800 jobs or -6.7%), Federal Government (-500 jobs or -6.3%), and Wholesale Trade (-300 jobs or -3.3%).

The Unemployment and Jobs Report for November is scheduled to be released on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Read full report at

Contact Information

COVID-19 Update: Department of Labor offices are currently closed due to COVID-19. Please contact the Department by phone.

Vermont Department of Labor
5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, 05601-0488
(802) 828-4000

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