VERMONT’S JOB GROWTH REMAINS SLOW, BUT POSITIVE. UNEMPLOYMENT AT 4.9% IN MAY.Montpelier — The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2008 was 4.9 percent, up five-tenths of a point from the revised April rate of 4.4% and up 1.1 points from a year ago.”Vermont’s continued job growth is insufficient to hold down our growing unemployment rate,” said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. “This is to be expected in a national environment where unemployment is growing rapidly and the national economy continues to shed jobs. In addition, the seasonal transition in Vermont’s labor market from April to May can be quite volatile depending on weather. This can lead to rapidly changing labor statistics. We should have a better picture of the State’s labor market in the June numbers.”Vermont’s observed seasonally adjusted monthly changes in unemployment levels and unemployment rate are statistically different from April values. For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.5 percent, up a similar five-tenths of a point from April 2008. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.8 percent in Hartford to 6.4 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 four-tenths of a point from April 2008.Jobs Data (Vermont’s job count estimates are produced from a statewide survey of business establishments conducted under the Current Employment Survey (CES) – a cooperative effort with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.)Seasonally adjusted job levels grew by 1,200 or 0.4% over April, but remain flat over the year. Most of the growth came from the construction sector: +900 jobs or 6.1% but the sector remains down considerably on an annual basis (-600 jobs / -3.5%). We see the monthly gain as due to a slow start in April rather than a strong May. For similar reasons the Accommodations and Food Services sector shows a strong monthly decline (-600 jobs / -2.0%) What was bad weather for construction kept the ski resorts operating longer in April – thus the decline in May looked worse than is typically expected.Before seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm jobs grew seasonally by 4,500 jobs 1.5% from April to May.. Annual unadjusted job growth remains sluggish at +0.1%. Seasonal job gains were seen in construction (+2,400 / 16.4%), but the segment remains in decline showing a 650 job annual loss or -3.7%. Retail Trade jobs grew by 700 in May, but this seasonal boost was not enough to overcome annual job losses of 200 or -0.5%. Professional & Business services grew by 500 over the month and 150 or 0.7% over the year. Arts Entertainment & Recreation grew 700 jobs over the month offsetting a 700 job loss in Accommodations & Food Services. Local Government Education gained jobs in May, but this is almost certainly a school vacation scheduling issue.