Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > It’s a job seeker’s market

It’s a job seeker’s market

Workers were ready for change last fall. About 13,000 Vermonters quit their jobs in November—an all-time high and more than double the pre-pandemic monthly average. We don’t know why: Vermont data don’t tell us how many left the workforce altogether and how many took new jobs. In either case workers were in high demand, with more than 23,000 unfilled jobs in November. National data and reporting show that many workers are leaving for jobs with better pay, better hours, or perhaps less COVID-19 risk. Voluntary leaves were highest among workers in restaurants and hotels, both public-facing, low-paying sectors. 

Across New England the job openings rate—unfilled jobs divided by the total number of jobs both filled and unfilled—was higher in November 2021 than before the pandemic. Vermont’s rate was in the middle of the New England states’, at 7.2 percent, compared with 3.9 percent pre-pandemic. Job openings remain high across the U.S.





Vermont’s labor force—those working and available for work—dipped in the last two months of 2021. The number employed rose by more than 5,600 from the start of the year, while the unemployed declined by more than 2,000. That left the workforce about 3,500 people larger than it was in January 2021, but still 25,000 below the start of 2020.





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