Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Jobs fall as COVID cases and business restrictions rise

Jobs fall as COVID cases and business restrictions rise

After six months of slowly returning, hotel and restaurant jobs dropped off again in November, as increasing COVID-19 cases limited travel and socializing. And this midmonth count probably does not capture the effects of new restrictions that began on Nov. 14. Vermont hotels and restaurants had 40 percent fewer jobs last month than in November 2019. Private-sector jobs overall were down 10 percent year over year.

Unemployment claims
As COVID cases rise, so does the number of newly unemployed Vermonters. Since the most recent round of business restrictions, more than 6,200 people filed new unemployment claims. While claims often rise in the fall, these recent applications were nearly twice the number as at the same time last year. Meanwhile, Washington will determine the fate of 20,000 Vermonters already receiving unemployment. Federal pandemic benefits are set to expire next week, yet Congress has failed to act.

Remote work
As many as 150,000 Vermonters may have been able to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sixty percent of private-sector employees worked at businesses that increased telework options since the start of 2020—the second-highest rate in New England and fifth-highest in the U.S.—although not all those workers had that choice. Nationally, businesses paying higher average wages were more likely to increase remote work.

* The unemployment rate does not capture all out-of-work Vermonters. Details here.

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