STATEMENT ON VERMONT’S NOVEMBER LABOR FORCE AND EMPLOYMENT REPORT

Little to be Thankful for in November Jobs Numbers

Montpelier, VT – In the lead-up to the 2010 elections, Vermont Democrats once again promised to focus on jobs and the economic climate in Vermont.  They promised bold action to remedy our ailing economy and to make Vermont work for all Vermonters again.  They promised change.

Five years later, what are the results of their efforts?  

More of the same failed Democrat policies of the past and a deepening crisis of affordability.    

Governor Shumlin and his Democrats failed to meet (again) their economic promises and focused instead on expanding the size and control of state government and the taxes required to fund it.  While ignoring the economic crisis working families face in our state — and hoping it would get better on its own — their policies made Vermont less affordable for those who suffered through job losses, rising costs of living and stagnant wage growth.

Once again, like their broken promises, Vermont’s labor force and employment report for November confirms their policies have made a bad situation even worse.  

The state’s labor force dropped another 1,100 in November and has shrunk by 4,550 in just the last three months.  Since January 2011 — when Vermont Democrats took total, single party control of state government — Vermont’s labor force has shrunk by an astonishing 15,400 workers.  

That’s nearly the equivalent of an entire city — like Bennington or Rutland — completely vanishing from the economy!

These workers have either left Vermont to find jobs in other states, given up looking for work completely, or have retired and have not been replaced by younger Vermonters.

The number of employed Vermonters also dropped another 1,000 in November 2015 and has dropped by 4,700 in just the last three months.  

Under the single party leadership of Vermont Democrats 7,100 fewer Vermonters are working today than in January 2011.  Meanwhile, they’ve raised more than $300 million in new taxes, on a contracting tax base, over that same period.

Despite their campaign rhetoric, Vermont Democrats have ignored working Vermonters. Instead, they’ve focused on policies and actions that make our state less affordable.  

They have proposed and enacted state budgets — and the tax hikes to support them — that have consistently grown at two times the rate of increase in Vermonters’ paychecks, sometimes even more.

And now they are signaling their desire to do even more of the same in the upcoming legislative session!

But the numbers don’t lie.

It’s past time for economic change that is more than just empty campaign slogans or words on a website.  

It’s time to make the responsible decisions, and make the necessary reforms, to ensure state spending grows at a rate Vermonters can afford.  

It’s time for economic policies that reduce barriers to job growth and expand employment opportunities — and wages — for all Vermonters.

And it’s high time for leadership that is willing to acknowledge and boldly face the daunting challenges facing our state — and to meet those challenges with balanced, common sense solutions that improve the lives of all Vermonters.

Vermont Republicans are ready to lead this bold new change.  We invite you to join us.