Local News
June 28, 2017

Vt. unemployment rate held steady for May

The Vermont Department of Labor announced that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for May was 3.1 percent. This reflects no change from the revised April rate. The national rate in May was 4.3 percent. As of the prior month’s preliminary data, the Burlington-South Burlington Metropolitan area was tied for the 12th lowest unemployment rate in the country for all metropolitan areas at 2.3 percent (not-seasonally-adjusted). Overall, Vermont’s unemployment rate was tied for the eighth lowest in the country for the same time period.

The seasonally-adjusted Vermont data for May show the Vermont civilian labor force decreased by 950 from the prior month’s revised estimate. The number of employed decreased by 1,150 and the number of unemployed increased by 200.

“The May numbers highlight the seasonal pattern of some Vermont business activities,” said Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle. “This time of year is about construction and the end of the school year. This combination presents a unique opportunity. Through the local American Job Centers (formerly referred to as Career Resource Centers), the Vermont Department of Labor is working to better inform young people about employment opportunities in the construction industry. This includes apprenticeships as well as entry level positions. Summer youth programming is nearly in full swing and provides numerous opportunities for seasonal employment as well. Anyone interested in finding work in Vermont — young or old — should contact their local American Job Center to learn about current employment and training opportunities available.”

Not seasonally adjusted

Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. The May unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.2 percent in White River Junction to 5.0 percent in Woodstock. For comparison, the May unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 2.9 percent which reflects a decrease of three-tenths of one percentage point from the revised unadjusted April level and a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from a year ago.

The preliminary “not-seasonally-adjusted” jobs estimates for May show an increase of 1,800 jobs when compared to the revised April numbers. There was an increase of 600 jobs between the preliminary and the revised April estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The monthly increase seen in the May numbers was primarily attributable to seasonal movements in construction. 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 600 jobs (0.2 percent) and government (including public education) employment has increased by 400 jobs (0.7 percent) in the past year.

Seasonally adjusted

The seasonally-adjusted data for May reports a decrease of 1,300 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 an increase of 600 jobs from the preliminary estimates. The seasonally-adjusted over-the-month changes in May were mixed at the sub-sector level. Those with a notable percent increase include: administrative & waste services (+400 jobs or +3.7 percent), real estate, rental & leasing (+100 jobs or +3.6 percent), and wholesale trade (+200 jobs or +2.2 percent). Sectors with a notable percent decrease include: other services (-400 jobs or -3.6 percent), professional & technical services (-500 jobs or -3.4 percent), and construction (-400 jobs or -2.5 percent).

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