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March Unemployment Rate Down To 3.8 Percent

Vermont’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent in March, to 3.8 percent.

Nationally, the March unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent.

While the number of employed Vermonters increased by 250 from February to March, the state’s civilian labor force declined by 250 during that period - and fell by 700 from March 2014 to March 2015.

According to the Vermont Department of Labor, the jobless rates for the state’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.9 in the Burlington area to 7.6 in Derby. The market area rates are not seasonally adjusted.  

“Vermont's economy was bolstered by a successful 2014-2015 ski season, as evidenced by the year over year comparisons within the Leisure and Hospitality sector measurements,” Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan said in a news release.

Data provided by the department shows that the service industry, which includes wholesale and retail businesses as well as transportation and utilities, added 4,900 jobs between March 2014 and March 2015, based on preliminary figures.

The number of manufacturing jobs fell by 600. The number of construction jobs was unchanged.

Nationally, five states have lower unemployment rates: South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

The monthly unemployment numbers represents those who are without work but actively looking as a percentage of the total labor force.  It is one of six employment measures compiled by the labor department.

A separate rate, which measures total unemployment, includes 'discouraged workers' who are not actively looking for jobs, and part time employees who are searching for full time work. 

By that measure, 8.8 percent of eligible Vermonters were not fully employed in 2014.