The seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for June was recorded at an impressive 1.9 percent, a recent report by the Vermont Department of Labor reads. This figure marks a decline of two-tenths of one percentage point from the previous month’s revised estimate, indicating a positive trend in the state’s employment landscape. The current rate also matches the record low set back in June 2019.
Vermont now holds the third-lowest unemployment rate in the nation, trailing only New Hampshire and South Dakota, which reported rates of 1.8 percent. The data signifies a robust labor market and a positive economic outlook for the state.
Vermont Labor Commissioner, Michael Harrington, acknowledged the importance of the report, but also highlighted potential challenges in the aftermath of a recent flood in July.
“This report presents data captured from June of this year, and therefore doesn’t incorporate any impacts from the July flood. So, while these updates to the economic picture are useful, we anticipate changes in future reports as we learn the full effects of this historic disaster,” Harrington added.
According to Harrington, the Department of Labor is collaborating with federal partners, in response to the flood, to ensure comprehensive relief efforts for those affected. And, workforce teams are also actively providing assistance at various state resource centers.
To address the potential impact on employment, the Vermont Department of Labor issued a formal announcement about the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. While initial unemployment claims have not spiked due to the flood damage, the department encourages impacted individuals to file for traditional unemployment insurance benefits initially, with the possibility of DUA designation later.
The report also shed light on the broader employment trends in the United States. The comparable national unemployment rate for June was 3.6 percent, a decrease of one-tenth of one percentage point from the revised May estimate. Vermont’s unemployment rate of 1.9 percent significantly outperforms the national average.
Analyzing the specific industries, the seasonally-adjusted data for June indicated a decrease of 4,300 jobs in Vermont compared to the revised May data. Notable increases were observed in Administrative & Waste Services and State Government, while Private Education and Wholesale Trade reported significant decreases.
On a more optimistic note, the not-seasonally-adjusted jobs estimates for June displayed an increase of 1,800 jobs compared to the revised May numbers. Over the year, Total Private industries increased slightly by 0.2 percent, and Government employment rose by 6.5 percent, indicating overall growth in the state’s job market.
The unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.7 percent in White River Junction to 3.3 percent in Derby. Comparatively, the unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 2.1 percent, a slight increase from the revised unadjusted May level, but a decrease from a year ago.
To sum up, Vermont’s resilient economy, remarkable employment performance in June, proactive support for its workforce, implementation of relief programs, and emphasis on sustainable growth and aid for impacted individuals seem encouraging for a positive economic recovery and a promising future for the state’s labor market despite the recent flood disaster.