Pandemic knocked employment to lowest levels in at least 30 years in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 December 2020 at 12:12 pm

Orleans County has had fewer people working during the pandemic than in the last 30 years. It is likely even longer than that, but the state Department of Labor data only goes back to 1990.

The DOL this week released employment data for November 2020. The state report shows 15,800 people were working in the county in November. That is the fewest of any November since 1990.

The most workers the county has had in a November was in 1998 when there were 20,300 workers, according to the DOL. In November 1990, the first year of the statistics available online, Orleans had 18,300 workers. In November 2019, there were 16,700 employed.

The 15,800 working last month is actually a big improvement from April, when the state Department of Labor counted 14,300 workers in Orleans. That was the peak of the government shutdown on nonessential businesses.

The 14,300 was the only time in the past 30 years Orleans has dipped below 15,000 workers.

The highest level of employment in the 30 years: June and July in 1998 when the county had 20,800 people working.

To see the data on Orleans, click here and search under Orleans County.