Vt. unemployment rate low as labor shortage builds

Published: Mar. 12, 2018 at 11:22 AM EDT
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Sometimes statistics can be misleading and numbers that appear to show good news don't tell the whole story. That's the case with Vermont's latest unemployment report. Just 2.9 percent of the state's labor force is out of work. That's unchanged from last month. And we continue to have the fourth lowest jobless rate in the country.

Sounds like signs of a thriving economy, right? Not entirely, say state officials because the labor force is not growing fast enough to meet demand. The Scott administration says we still have 15,000 fewer people in the workforce than we did in 2009. And employers across the state who are looking to grow their businesses say they cannot find enough qualified workers to fill open jobs.

Gov. Phil Scott is using the situation to push his proposals for recruiting young workers to stay or move to Vermont, ideas that have so far not had much traction in the Legislature.

The unemployment rate for Vermont's 17 labor market ranged from a low of 2.3 percent in White River Junction to 6.4 percent in Derby.