Jobs count down 500 in September, unemployment down to 6.7 percent

first_imgThe Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2009 was 6.7 percent, down one tenth of a percent from the revised August rate and up 1.9 points from a year ago. “Vermont’s unemployment rate changed very little in September at 6.7%,” said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. “Although the rate is low as compared to other states in the region and the country, our labor market is not yet healthy. We continue to lose jobs.  The main driver of the unemployment rate drop is the decline in labor force due to aging demographics and a large number of young workers returning to school.”Job GrowthTypically we expect job growth between August and September in the 7,500 to 7,900 range, largely driven by school support staff returning to work.  Before seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm (TNF) jobs grew by 6,600 or 2,3% over the month considerably less than usual. Annual unadjusted job growth fell by 12,650 or -4.1% – a larger decline than we saw in August. Local Government Education, (+9,150 or 64%) State Government Education, (+2,200 or 34.9%) and Private Education Services, (+1,050 or 8.4%) saw the largest seasonal job gains. Almost all other labor market sectors saw seasonal declines.When seasonally adjusted, September job levels fell by 500 or 0.2% over the month. Almost all job sectors were either flat or down.  A notable exception is the Total Private Industries job count at +900.  We believe this to be a statistical anomaly unsupported by any other evidence.  The Total Non Farm estimate is a better gauge of the labor market climate.  The largest job losses were seen in the Total Government sector where a large summer youth program ended. Employment GrowthSeptember’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged from August at 6.7 percent. This occurred as a result of declining employment (-1,400), but a slightly improved unemployment picture, (-500) as compared to August. It appears that most of those who lost jobs in September left the labor force and are not seeking employment.  This is largely due to the ending of a large stimulus funded summer youth employment program and those employed returning to school. However, Vermont’s total labor force has been declining since May so other forces are contributing to the decline. Vermont’s observed September seasonally adjusted employment, unemployment levels and unemployment rate estimates were not statistically different from August values.  For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 9.8 percent, up one-tenth of a point from the revised August rate of 9.7 percent. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 4.0 percent in Hartford to 8.7 percent in Rutland.  Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the September unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 6.4 percent, up three-tenths of a point from August 2009 and up 1.8 points from a year ago.  The September unadjusted unemployment rate estimate for Vermont was not statistically different from the August rate.The preliminary estimates of nonfarm jobs for September and the revisions to the estimates for November 2008 through Aug 2009, incorporate substantive changes made in the Current Employment Survey estimation procedures. These new procedures are designed to bring the aggregate monthly change in jobs for individual states into closer alignment with the change in national job counts reflected in the estimates produced and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of these changes, the November 2008 and forward estimates may not be totally comparable to previous months’ data. The impact of these changes in methodology will be better understood when we are able to make benchmark comparisons to Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.Source: Vermont Department of Labor. 10.21.2009last_img