Job counts up slightly in October, jobless rate unchanged at 5.2%Montpelier (November 21, 2008) — The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2008 was 5.2% percent, unchanged from the revised September rate and up 1.3 points from a year ago.”Though our employment and job numbers looked relatively good in October we believe that the impact is temporary,” said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. “The increases we saw in seasonally adjusted employment and jobs may have been due to our surveys capturing a favorable foliage season. Never-the-less we welcome the stability in our unemployment rate in an environment where our national rate grew four-tenths of a point.”Job GrowthBefore seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm jobs grew by 2,000 or 0.6% from September to October. Despite this growth, Total Non-Farm jobs remains down by 0.3%, or about 900 jobs, over the year. The largest monthly gainers in October were Local Education (+1,750 or 7.6%), Retail Trade (+500 or 1.3%) and Accommodations (+400 or 4.3%). On an annual basis Healthcare & Social Assistance is the only sector showing significant job growth (+950 or 2.1%). The Manufacturing and Construction sectors have contracted by 750 and 950 jobs respectively over the year.When seasonally adjusted, job levels increased by 500 or 0.2% over September, but still lag a year ago by 900 or -0.3%. Leisure & Hospitality was primarily responsible for the job gain over the month, (+800 jobs or 2.5%). We believe this to be a temporary phenomenon caused by our sample capturing the impact of a favorable foliage season whereas in most years it does not.Employment GrowthVermont’s observed seasonally adjusted monthly changes in labor force and employment were statistically significant and greater than September values, but unemployment levels and rates were not. For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 6.5 percent, up four-tenths of a point form September 2008. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.8 percent in Hartford to 6.2 percent in Newport. Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.6 percent, down three-tenths of a point from September 2008 and up 1.3 points from a year ago.