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No New Life in Springtime Employment

Vermont experienced a sharp drop of 2,200 non-farm jobs in April, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the Vermont Department of Labor. Most of the losses—1,900—were in the private sector, which had been gaining jobs since late last summer. Meanwhile, Vermont’s unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged. It inched down to 5.3 percent last month from 5.4 percent in March, primarily because 400 unemployed workers dropped out of the labor force. The number of employed Vermonters held steady from March to April.


With the Snowmelt, a Major Jobmelt
A lot of the private sector losses in April occurred in the tourism-related sectors. Vermont hotels and restaurants typically shed jobs each year after the snow melts. But this year the drop was bigger than usual, even after the numbers were adjusted for the season. The seasonally adjusted loss was 1,500, the largest in the last decade.


More Ground Lost in Government Jobs
April’s private sector employment suffered a setback after steady gains through the fall and winter. It’s also possible these preliminary numbers will be adjusted next month to show a smaller drop. Meanwhile, the number of public sector jobs has been on a downward trend since last summer. Vermont has lost about 700 seasonally adjusted public sector jobs in the last two months, and the total of federal, state, and local government jobs in April was slightly below the number of public sector jobs at the start of the recession.

Download a PDF of the jobs brief.