New Economic Data Highlights Real Challenges

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Brittney Wilson
(802) 279-2266

Montpelier, Vt. – Lt. Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement on the Vermont Department of Labor’s most recent unemployment report:

While some officials continue to tout Vermont’s “low” unemployment rate, there’s more to the story such as, the change in Vermont’s total workforce. Which shrank by 2,050 workers in October.  This is the sharpest single month decline since 1999 and leaves our state’s workforce at its lowest level since April 2003.

This is not a new trend.  In fact, October’s decline was preceded by declines of 1,400 in September and 750 in August.  In total, Vermont’s workforce has contracted by 14,300 workers since January 2011. We simply cannot continue to ignore this alarming trend.

As our workforce shrinks, so too does the tax base. That means the remaining workers have to shoulder a greater share of the tax burden, while wages stay the same and costs of living rise.

We must work together to build an economy that keeps and attracts working-age families, employers, innovators and entrepreneurs.  And we have to address the factors that are driving those costs, especially the costs driven by state government.

If we make Vermont more affordable, and build a more robust economy, current Vermonters will stay, new Vermonters will come, wages will rise, and tax revenue will increase so we can invest in the future of our state.

In time, by focusing our efforts, we can reverse the demographic trend that is draining our economy. Elected leaders need to be forthright about what the economic and employment data is actually telling us.


Note:  You can review labor force data here: