Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > More Vermonters are seeking jobs, but a smaller share are working

More Vermonters are seeking jobs, but a smaller share are working

The share of Vermonters who are working has fallen off in the wake of the pandemic and has not regained the levels held for four decades before Covid. From 1981 to 2019, two-thirds of Vermonters 16 and older were working each year, on average. That percentage dropped under 60 percent in the first year of the pandemic and crept up to 61.5 percent in 2022, according to new federal data. During the 40 pre-Covid years, Vermont ranked among the top 10 states in the percentage of the working-age population that was employed. In 2022 Vermont’s position was just 18th. If the state’s employment-population percentage returned to long-term pre-pandemic levels, 20,000 more Vermonters would be employed.




Vermont unemployment has been up since the spring and summer of 2022. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is possible more Vermonters feel optimistic about the job market—the official unemployment rate is based on the number of people who are unemployed and actively looking for work. Last April and May, Vermont’s jobless rate was 2.2 percent; fewer than 7,600 people were seeking employment. Since September, the unemployment rate has hovered around 3 percent, meaning more than 10,000 Vermonters are pounding the pavements each month.






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