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In 2020 shopping eased the long months at home

No surprise, Vermonters cut back their consumer spending in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released data recently showing that Vermonters spent $1.2 billion less in 2020 than the year before. That was about a 4 percent drop.

But while people stopped shelling out for hotels, restaurant meals, and trips to the dentist, some appear to have made the most of being stuck at home. Spending on garden tools and equipment rose almost 14 percent, or $10 million, and on books and periodicals more than $35 million.

Vermonters spent less on health overall, yet paid the pharmaceutical companies almost $50 million more than the previous year. Travel restrictions cut into trips abroad, and the shutdowns of large gatherings nearly wiped out spectator activities, where spending fell more than 70 percent. 


Vermont’s unemployment rate dropped a little in November. On one hand, that’s good news. On the other, lower unemployment meant fewer people looking to fill the 20,000-plus job openings employers reported in October. Private employers added 300 new jobs in November.





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