Vermont’s unemployment rate rose last month for the fourth consecutive month.
The Department of Labor says the 5.4 percent level in September was up a tenth of a point from August.
But Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says that as the economy improves, people become more optimistic and start looking for work.
And she says that causes the unemployment rate to go up.
Still, the statewide rate is a tenth-of-a-point below where it was in September of last year.
The national unemployment rate went the opposite direction in September, falling to 7.8 percent.
September unemployment in Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.5 percent in Hartford to 6.7 percent in Newport.
Noonan says her department is seeing an increase in job postings.
And with a significant development project proposed in the Northeast Kingdom, more jobs are expected.