Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Vermont Jobs: Confusing Signs May Suggest Change

Vermont Jobs: Confusing Signs May Suggest Change

Vermont’s unemployment rate—derived from a survey of workers—took a jump last month, from 4.7 percent in June to 5.0 percent in July. Coupled with the decline for the fifth consecutive month in the number of Vermonters working, that’s cause for worry. But the monthly survey of Vermont businesses tells a different story. It shows an increase of 2,500 seasonally adjusted, non-farm jobs in July. A clearer direction may emerge by fall.


For the young, double-digit jobless rates
Vermont’s annual unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in 2011, the fifth lowest in the country. But that was the average. Among younger workers, the unemployment rate was two to three times the statewide rate. Figures recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the New England region show almost 20 percent unemployment for workers ages 16 to 19 and almost 13 percent for 20-to-24-year-olds.


Home to work: 30 minutes max
Vermont isn’t immune to rush-hour traffic, but for most Vermonters the ride to work is short. According to U.S. Census figures, 20 percent of Vermonters can get there in less than 10 minutes, and 72 percent within 30 minutes. Only 5 percent commute an hour or more. Nationally, more than a third of workers travel a half hour or more to get to work. Vermonters could cut greenhouse gases if they if they carpooled more, though. According to the Census, almost three-quarters drive alone.

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