Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Vermont’s Job Growth: A Tortoise, Not a Hare

Vermont’s Job Growth: A Tortoise, Not a Hare

The numbers both of employed Vermonters and those who are unemployed rose in October, as more Vermonters entered the labor force. That’s an encouraging sign, even though the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5 percent. The state also saw a drop of 1,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs last month, a little dip in a slow, steady upward trend since the recession ended in June 2009. But the Vermont economy has yet to replace all the jobs lost since December 2007.



Private jobs: More pluses than minuses
For the second year since the Great Recession, Vermont’s private employers created more jobs than they eliminated. New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the private sector added 24,415 jobs from March 2011 to March 2012—5,834 in start-up businesses, 18,581 in business expansions. Companies eliminated 19,604 jobs, nearly 1,000 more than they did during the previous yearlong period. The net gain of 4,811 follows a net gain of 4,020 for the year ending March 2011.


A bigger job market, not better pay
The Vermont Department of Labor released its forecast of “high demand” occupations for 2010 to 2020: nearly 30,000 new jobs in more than 300 occupations—better than the previous decade, when Vermont saw a net job loss. “High demand” occupations have above-average growth rates or numbers of positions—but not necessarily higher pay. About 69 percent of these new jobs will be in occupations that typically paid less in 2011 than Vermont’s average hourly wage, $20.71. In 2011, 68 percent of Vermonters worked in occupations with lower-than-average wages. But if demand for workers grows, pay might improve

pdficonDownload the PDF Version