Workers’ lot improves but the gender gap endures
In May the Vermont labor force increased for the fifth straight month, the best stretch of growth in seven years. The labor force, which includes people working and those actively looking for work, climbed to 345,821, the highest level in 15 months. Employment also rose in May, while unemployment dropped.
Where women work
Since 2001 Vermont has required employers to report the gender of their employees, which helps to track how women fare in the labor market. As of 2014,Vermont was the only state to collect such data. Many industries tend to be dominated by one gender or the other. Jobs traditionally held by women—in education, health care, and certain services—remain mostly female. In the private sector the average yearly wages for female-dominated jobs tend to be lower than wages in majority-male industries.
Post-recession job gains
Since the recession officially ended in 2009, the number of women in private sector payroll jobs increased in most counties. The biggest gains were in Lamoille County and Chittenden County between 2009 and 2015. Statewide, private sector jobs held by women grew 5.6 percent. But men did better, with gains of 6.4 percent during the same period.