January 18, 2013

 

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Mathew Barewicz, Economic & Labor Market Information Chief

Vermont Department of Labor, 802-828-4153, or email: Mathew.Barewicz@state.vt.us

 

Vermont Unemployment Rate

Drops to 5.1 percent in December

 

The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for December 2012 decreased by one-tenth of a percent from the prior month to 5.1 percent.   Vermont’s seasonally-adjusted rate continues to remain significantly lower than the national average of 7.8 percent which was unchanged from the prior month post an upward revision of 0.1 percent during the final estimation of the November numbers.  During the calendar year of 2012, there were six declines to Vermont’s statewide unemployment rate; five increases and one month where there was no change.  While the year-over-year change (December 2011 to December 2012) to the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate is only down one-tenth of a percent, the annual averages showed a stronger picture of economic recovery.  Barring revisions to the estimates, the calendar year 2012 rate was 5.0 percent; down six tenths of a percent from 2011.

 

“The Vermont economy had a strong ending to 2012.  The preliminary estimate of the annual 2012 unemployment rate is 5.0 percent, more than a full half of a percent lower than 2011.  Vermont’s jobs data as reported by Vermont businesses is up over one percent, or three thousand jobs, from last year.  The economic recovery, nationally and on the state level, has been slower than prior recessions; but progress is being made as evidenced by the 2012 data.  We are optimistic that economic growth will continue in Vermont as businesses and job seekers gain confidence.  The Vermont Department of Labor has excellent staff and services to match employers and job seekers through our regional Career Centers”, said Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan.

 

State of Vermont Overview

 

The Vermont seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of a percent to 5.1 percent in December.  The comparable rate for the United States was unchanged from the revised November estimate of 7.8 percent.  The seasonally adjusted Vermont data for December show the Vermont total labor force decreased by 800 from the prior month estimates.  Total Employment decreased by 100 while Total Unemployment decreased by 800.  Both the over-the-month declines in the unemployment rate and the Total Unemployment were statistically significant.

 

December unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.1 percent in Warren-Waitsfield to 6.8 percent in Newport (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted).  For comparison, the December unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.7 percent which reflects a one-tenth of a percent increase from the November level and a decline of two-tenths of a percent from a year ago.

 

Analysis of Job Changes by Industry

 

The preliminary ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ jobs estimates for December show an increase of 3,850 jobs when compared to the revised November numbers.  This reported over-the-month change does not include the 200 job increase between the preliminary and the revised November estimates due to the inclusion of more data.  The monthly increase seen in the December numbers was attributable to the seasonal increase in Leisure & Hospitality which saw an over-the-month increase of 5,500 jobs.  The broader economic trends can be detected by focusing on the changes between December 2012 and December 2011 data.  As detailed in the preliminary ‘not seasonally adjusted’ December data, Total Private Industries have increased by 1.4 percent (3,500 jobs) and Government has decreased by 0.9 percent (-500 jobs) within the last year. 

 

The seasonally adjusted data for December reports a decrease of 400 jobs from the revised November data (see graph).  As with the ‘not-seasonally-adjusted’ data, this over-the-month change is from the revised November numbers which experienced an upward revision from the preliminary estimates by 100 jobs.  Based on a review of the seasonally adjusted over-the-month changes in December, there was a lot of volatility across industries.  Sectoral movements of note on a percentage basis include: Financial Activities (-400 jobs or -3.3 percent), Leisure & Hospitality (+600 jobs or 1.8 percent), State Government (-300 jobs or -1.7 percent) and Construction (-200 jobs or -1.4 percent).

 

For details, please contact Mathew Barewicz, Labor Market Information Chief at the Vermont Department of Labor at 802-828-4153 or Mathew.Barewicz@state.vt.us

Vermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted)

 

       Changes From

 

December

2012

November

2012

December

2011

November

2012

December

2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Labor Force

357,200

358,000

360,400

-800

-3,200

   Employment

339,100

339,200

341,700

       -100

-2,600

   Unemployment

18,000

18,800

18,800

-800

-800

   Rate (%)

5.1

5.2

5.2

-0.1

-0.1

Vermont’s labor force, employment and unemployment statistics are produced from a combination of a Statewide survey of households and statistical modeling.  The data are produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS) a cooperative program with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Vermont Department of Labor.