Key Facts & Figures: 2. Vermont’s Economic Performance

The Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith

Perhaps the two best indicators of a state’s economic performance are Gross Domestic Product, which is the total value of all goods produced and services provided, and the Unemployment Rate, which measures the portion of the working population who are out of work.

For Vermont, these two key indicators seem to diverge.  Vermont’s GDP growth rate lags the country as a whole.  At the same time, Vermont has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.


The chart below compares Vermont’s economic performance to the USA as a whole:

Key Economic Indicators

2016 2015 2011 1-Year Growth 5-Year Growth
Vermont GDP ($ millions) 31,092 30,300 27,676 2.6% 2.4%
USA GDP ($ billions) 18,869 18,223 15,785 3.5% 3.6%
Vermont Unemployment Rate 3.1% 3.5% 5.2%
USA Unemployment Rate 4.7% 5.0% 8.5%

Source: GDP data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.  Unemployment data from the Vermont Department of Labor and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Key Observations

Low Economic Growth: Vermont’s GDP growth rate is about 33% lower than the national average.  The Informed Vermonter has looked at long-term historical data and lower growth has been the norm for a long time.

Low Unemployment Rate:  Vermont’s unemployment rate is very low compared to the national average.  At 3.1%, most economists would classify Vermont at full employment.

More Stable Economy:  Vermont does not seem to suffer the very large swings in unemployment that the US economy, as a whole, experiences.


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