Data & Research
* ELMI Frequently Asked Questions *

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  • Affirmative Action Plan
    Question:  Can you please tell me what information is available for an employer to prepare an affirmative action plan?
    Answer:  There are two main sources of data that provide demographic information by occupational category.
    1. The most comprehensive comes from the U.S. Census Bureau and is called the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation.
    2. A second source is ELMI's Labor Exchange Information that reflects only individuals who use VDOL's services.

  • Child Labor Laws
    Question:  My son is 14 years old and would like to get a summer job. I want to know what the legal working age is in Vermont and what rules or restrictions apply to him as far as employment is concerned.
    Answer:  You should contact VDOL Wage & Hour program, phone (802) 951-4083 or email You can also review the regulations on Child Labor Laws (pdf).

  • Cost of Living in Vermont
    Question:  What is the "Cost of Living" in Vermont compared to other states?
    Answer:  The official "Cost of Living" is the Consumer Price Index produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS produces the CPI for the nation and regional areas but not for states. Other sources of living costs and relocation information are available at ELMI’s Related Web Sites.

  • Discrimination
    Question:  Is it against the law for an employer to put you in a different job position and try to make you quit by taking money away from you, then admitting the reasoning for it is he doesn't like you?
    Answer:  For help with questions about discrimination in the workplace, information is available at the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General's Office or call 1-888-745-9195 (toll free in Vermont) or (802) 828-3657. For questions concerning wage issues, contact VDOL Wage and Hour, email, phone (802) 951-4083. Information on sexual harassment and discrimination is also available at Vermont Commission on Women's Workplaces For All.

  • Educational Attainment and Income
    Question:  Do you know the median Vermont family income of families with a college degree versus the Vermont family income of families with a high school diploma?
    Answer:  Information on Family Income by Educational Attainment is not available. However, the U.S. Census Bureau does have data on individual Median Earnings by Educational Attainment and Poverty Status of Families by Educational Attainment.

  • Employment Definitions
    Question:  What is the difference between "Employment" and "Covered Employment"?
    Answer:  There are different definitions for "employment" depending on the program that is the source of the estimate.
    1. The most detailed source for employment data is ELMI's Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, based on reports to the Unemployment Insurance Program. It is referred to as "UI Covered" or sometimes just "Covered" employment. Here employment is a count of jobs. So, for example, a person working at two jobs would be counted twice, once for each job. Types of employment not included in UI covered are the self-employed, railroad workers, and most farm workers. The volume of data processed cause a 5-month delay in the quarterly release of monthly counts.
    2. A more timely estimate of employment is available from ELMI's Current Employment Statistics program. This program surveys a sample of employers to produce monthly estimates a month later. Like the previous program, employment here is a count of jobs. Definition of employment in this program is slightly broader, including some minor “presumed non-covered” workers, such as religious and railroad workers, and work-study students.
    3. The broadest definition of employment is from ELMI's Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. Here employment includes all civilian non-institutionalized workers 16 years of age or older, including the self-employed. However, unlike the other two programs, employment here is a count of persons employed, not jobs. In this program, a person with two jobs is counted only once, as employed.

  • Employment Statistics by Gender
    Question:  How can I get Vermont employment and labor force statistics by gender?
    Answer:  Employment and labor force information by gender is available from multiple sources.
    1. Earnings and Jobs by Gender is based on data from VDOL and reflects employers subject to Unemployment Insurance law.
    2. QWI Explorer enables access to the Quarterly Workforce Indicators dataset that combines federal, state and U.S. Census Bureau information on employers and employees.
    3. Sex by Age by Employment Status has labor force, employment and unemployment gender information from the U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment presents annual data on the employed and unemployed by gender, age, occupation, industry and class of worker.

  • Foreign Labor Certification
    Question:  Who do I contact for questions related to workers from other countries coming to the United States under the Foreign Labor Certification programs?
    Answer:  Information for employers seeking to hire foreign workers can be found at ELMI's Wages & Income in the Prevailing Wage side panel.

  • Fringe Benefit Information
    Question:  I am looking for information on fringe benefits provided by Vermont employers.
    Answer:  Information on benefits offered by Vermont firms is contained in ELMI's Fringe Benefit Study reports.

  • Job Descriptions
    Question:  What are the laws/regulations governing job description updating and the amount of changes which dictate when a position needs to be hired for or just a job description update?
    Answer:  There are no laws or regulations governing the development of job descriptions as long as they don't discriminate on the basis of race, gender, etc. If you have concerns about discrimination, information is available at the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General's Office or call 1-888-745-9195 (toll free in Vermont) or (802) 828-3657. For questions concerning wage issues, contact VDOL Wage and Hour, email, phone (802) 951-4083.

  • Labor Market Area Definitions
    Question:  What is a labor market area and how are they defined?
    Answer:  A Labor Market Area consists of a core area of substantial population and adjacent communities with a high degree of economic integration. Labor Market Areas are defined every 10 years based on population and commuting patterns. For more information, see Vermont 2015 Labor Market Areas (pdf).

  • Largest Employers
    Question:  Where can I find a list of the largest employers in Vermont? In the past you provided a list but I can't find it now?
    Answer:  As of October 2006, we no longer publish lists of the largest employers. Confidentiality standards prohibiting VDOL from releasing employer specific information now include listing the largest employers. Other sources for a list of the largest employers in Vermont, based on employment, are the Vermont Business Magazine and CareerOneStop - State Profile: Largest Employers. Both sources have shortcomings. VBM focuses on Vermont based private employers, excluding governmental and national firms. CareerOneStop information is based on individual workplaces instead of a business' total activity, so firms with multiple stores/plants rank lower. Finally, employment levels may differ significantly from information reported to VDOL. The above links are provided as a courtesy. VDOL makes no assurances as to the accuracy of the information from these sources. Use with caution!

  • Median Household Income by Towns
    Question:  Where can I find median household income?
    Answer:  The ELMI publication Economic and Demographic Profiles contains median income for towns based on data from the Vermont Tax Department. The Center for Rural Sudies' Vermont Housing Data Profiles contains a wide varity of Housing Data, many items from U. S. Census. Finally, State median household income is available from the U. S. Census Bureau.

  • Minimum Wage
    Question:  What is the state minimum wage? What is the minimum wage for waiters and waitresses?
    Answer:  The latest minimum wage information, including minimum wage for wait staff, is available from VDOL Wage and Hour. You can contact them by phone (802) 951-4083 or email

  • Overtime, Mandatory
    Question:  Can an employer make overtime mandatory, and what can be done if you don't want to work overtime?
    Answer:  The VDOL Wage & Hour Program administers laws related to this issue, phone (802) 951-4083, or email

  • Posters Required for Employers
    Question:  I am interested in obtaining the required postings for Vermont employers.
    Answer:  You can obtain all requried Vermont workplace postings at VDOL Mandatory Workplace Posters - Vermont, or contact Wage & Hour at (802) 951-4083 or All required workplace postings are free.

  • Residency for UI Benefits
    Question:  I am a resident of New Hampshire, but was employed in Vermont. Do I file my claim for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont or New Hampshire?
    Answer:  When work is performed in Vermont, you should establish a new unemployment claim with Vermont, information at VDOL Step-by-Step for Unemployment Insurance.

  • Shift Differentials
    Question:  Does the department have any survey information on shift differentials throughout the state? Does anyone know where I can get that information if the Department does not have it?
    Answer:  Vermont Department of Labor does not collect data for shift differentials but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes national data in the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, a publication of the National Compensation Survey.

  • Size of Firm Data
    Question:  I am looking for data on number of establishments and employees by firm size in the State of Vermont.
    Answer:  Firm size information is available through ELMI Covered Employment and Wages (QCEW) size class tables.

  • Starting a Business
    Question:  I want to start a small business. What do I need to do as far as the state is concerned?
    Answer:  The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Economic Development, is a good resource on how to start a buisness. For starters, you will probably want to contact Vermont Secretary of State, 888-647-4582, and the Department of Taxes, (802) 828-2505. If you plan to hire workers, you should contact the following VDOL divisions: Unemployment Insurance, phone (802) 828-4000, email, and Worker's Compensation, phone (802) 828-2286, email

  • State of Vermont Jobs
    Question:  What is the process for applying for state jobs? Do I need to take civil service tests or something? How do I find out how, when and where the tests or the job listings of this type are?
    Answer:  Information on state employment opportunities is available at the Vermont Department of Human Resources. You can also contact HR by phone at 1-855-828-6700 (toll free) or 802-828-6700.

  • Teacher Certification
    Question:  What are the requirements for teaching jobs in Vermont? Where can I find the information needed to see if I qualify to teach?
    Answer:  Vermont Agency of Education, Educator Quality, can provide information about the requirements for teaching in Vermont. You can contact them by calling (802) 828-1130 or email

  • Turnover statistics
    Question:  Does the state track turnover statistics by region or by industry?
    Answer:  Turnover statistics for Vermont are available by region, industry, age and gender at QWI Explorer. Turnover is one of seven Quarterly Workforce Indicators available through this U.S. Census web-based analysis tool as part of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program.

  • Unspecified County
    Question:  What businesses are included in the unspecified county category.
    Answer:  The substate area, "Unspecified", contains businesses that cannot be assigned to a specific location. Since 2003, most of this group consists of respite workers, hired by individuals living at home, paid by Medicaid through an administrator who is unable to provide work location information.

  • Vacation Pay Compensation
    Question:  I recently left my job at one company to take another. I had two weeks of vacation time due to me at my first job, which I did not use. The company is refusing to pay me for my unused vacation time. How do I go about resolving this issue?
    Answer:  Contact VDOL Wage and Hour, also available by phone (802) 951-4083 or email
 State of Vermont Department of Labor