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January Jobs Report Shows Growing Labor Force

Employment statistics released Monday by the Vermont Department of Labor show an upswing in employment in the month of January as the state’s unemployment continued to fall.

“The January numbers start the year on a positive note,” said Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan in a statement.

Seasonally adjusted data shows that the civilian labor force increased by 350 from December to January even as the rate of unemployment fell to 4 percent.

“The number of employed increased by 1,250 and the number of unemployed decreased by 950,” the monthly jobs report said.

Vermont’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation – a fact Gov. Peter Shumlin mentions frequently – but that low rate in the past has been attributable to a shirking labor force, as VPR’s Peter Hirschfeld reported for the Vermont Press Bureau last August.

In January’s numbers, a continued drop in the unemployment rate despite a growing labor force reflects the fact that the number of jobs in the state is growing.

January’s numbers don’t reflect two sets of triple-digit cuts – 143 jobs at Plasan Carbon Composites and more than 100 at IBM – that hit the state in February, which were likely significant enough to hurt that month’s jobs report, due out March 28.