Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > The labor market is improving, if at a creeping pace

The labor market is improving, if at a creeping pace

Since June the number of Vermonters looking for work has risen by nearly 470. At the same time, the number of people working has fallen for three straight months. Still, overall, joblessness has stayed extraordinarily low, reaching its lowest point on record—7,246 people—in June. The unemployment rate also has been setting records: only 2.1 percent from May through August, edging up to 2.2 percent in September and October, with Vermont’s rate the lowest in the country.





Job growth
After the recession, Vermont employers added more than 22,000 jobs a year, but recently annual jobs losses have nearly equaled gains. Vermont does have more private sector jobs than at any time before the recession. But net growth tallies at fewer than 2,000 jobs a year.





The net change in total businesses represents a small share of the approximately 2,000 businesses that open and close each year. Net losses tend to come during economic downturns, while the net gains occur in periods of recovery. Vermont has added businesses for three years in a row. Startups were responsible for about 30 percent of new jobs and represented about 30 percent of businesses in the 12-month period ending last March.

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