FACT CHECK #2 ABOUT THE SHUMLIN-SHAP SMITH ECONOMY

VT Unemployment Rate Would Be 6.3% With 2011 Workforce Size

Montpelier, VT – While Governor Shumlin likes to tout Vermont’s “low” unemployment rate, he consistently fails to mention our dangerously shrinking workforce.

By neglecting to tell the whole story, Governor Shumlin is misleading Vermonters and dismissing the severity of our workforce crisis.

Here are the facts:  If Vermont’s workforce had stayed only level — with no growth — since Governor Shumlin first took office with a supermajority of Democrats in the legislature, Vermont’s December 2014 unemployment rate would be among the highest in the region at 6.3%.

Vermont’s “low” unemployment rate is due more to the shrinking size of the workforce.  Net job growth has been near zero in the last four years.

By contrast, in just the last year New Hampshire’s workforce has grown by nearly 11,000.  Even with this dramatically increased workforce size, New Hampshire’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has dropped from 5.2% in December 2013 to 4.0% in December 2014.

In Vermont, it’s time for a change.