Unemployment up .3 percent; change said "significant''

03/13/08 7:34AM

The Vermont Labor Department says the slowing national and regional economies helped drive up the state's unemployment rate by three tenths of one percent in January.

The Department of Labor called the change "statistically significant.''

The January unemployment rate of 4.2 percent was up from 3.9 percent in December and up from 4 percent in January 2007.

Unemployment in Vermont's 17 labor market areas ranged from 3 percent in Hartford to nearly 9 percent in Newport.

The department says that changes in population estimates show there was little job growth in Vermont in 2007, especially in the last half of the year. The unemployment rates remained low, but it was driven by a declining labor force rather than employment growth.

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