Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Jobs and workers are returning, if not rushing back

Jobs and workers are returning, if not rushing back

Vermont has recovered nearly 80 percent of the private sector jobs lost in the early days of the pandemic. 

The four industries with the most growth in 2021 were among the hardest hit over the last year and a half. Manufacturing, educational services, and entertainment are pretty much back to pre-pandemic levels, while the restaurant industry remains about 20 percent below where it was at the beginning of 2020.  

Still, 2021 has not seen steady growth. Thanks to the delta variant of COVID-19, Vermont backslid over the summer, losing more than 1,000 private sector jobs in August and September, many of them in the restaurant industry. The public sector isn’t faring much better, with local government down nearly 1,600 positions in September.



In January 2020, before the pandemic, the Vermont labor force—people working or unemployed and looking for work—totaled 343,628. In September, that number was 318,222, still more than 25,000 below the pre-pandemic level. September was the fifth month of steady workforce expansion.


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