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Vermont's Unemployment Rate Decreases to 4.2 Percent in September

October 20, 2020

Today, the Vermont Department of Labor released data on the Vermont economy for the time period covering September 2020. According to household data, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for September was 4.2 percent. This reflects a decrease of six-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate of 4.8 percent.

Commissioner's Message

“While the data shows that employment increased in September, we know there are still many Vermonters out of work and businesses unable to operate at full capacity as a result of the Pandemic. And yet, we see more and more jobs come back online each and every day, showing the resiliency of Vermont’s business community. Unfortunately, our businesses can only reopen if they can find people to fill their vacant positions. If you are unemployed, or know someone who is unemployed, and are able to return to work, now is the time to begin actively looking for employment if you are not already doing so. If you are looking to develop new skills, be sure to check out the free training opportunities through Vermont State Colleges, and for jobseekers looking to return to work, or for employers with available positions, the Department’s job service known as Vermont Job Link is a great place to start. Additionally, our Workforce Development team is actively engaging with jobseekers and employers each and every day to ensure Vermont’s economy recovers as quickly as possible.”   Michael Harrington, Commissioner

State of Vermont Overview

The Vermont seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased six-tenths of one percentage point to 4.2 percent in September. The comparable United States rate in September was 7.9 percent, a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from the revised August estimate. The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for September show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 2,593 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed persons decreased by 707 and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 1,886. The changes to the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were statistically significant in the seasonally-adjusted series.

The September unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.0 percent in White River Junction to 6.7 percent in Woodstock (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally-adjusted). For comparison, the September unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.1 percent, which was a decrease of five-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted August level and an increase of one and eight-tenths percentage points from a year ago.

Analysis of Job Changes by Industry


The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for September show an increase of 5,000 jobs when compared to the revised August numbers. There was an increase of 300 jobs between the preliminary and the revised August 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’ September data, Total Private industries have decreased by 29,800 jobs (-11.5 percent) and Government (including public education) employment has decreased by 1,700 jobs (-3.0 percent) in the past year.


The seasonally-adjusted data for September reports an increase of 2,800 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 an increase of 200 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in September varied at the industry level. Those with a notable increase include: Accommodation & Food Services (+2,400 jobs or +14.0%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (+200 jobs or +4.8%), and Construction (+500 jobs or +4.7%). Industries with a notable decrease include: Private Educational Services (-1,000 jobs or -7.8%) and Local Government (-1,400 jobs or -4.8%).

The Unemployment and Jobs Report for October is scheduled to be released on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Read full report at