For Immediate Release
Date: July 22, 2014
Contact: Dave Sunderland, VT Republicans Chair

STATEMENT REGARDING JUNE 2014 UNEMPLOYMENT DATA

Vermont’s Economy Remains Stagnant; More Vermonters Become Unemployed; Many Underemployed

Montpelier, VT – The state unemployment and labor force data for June 2014 was released by the Vermont Department of Labor Monday.

These latest measurements of our state’s economy, job opportunities and workforce once again show that Vermont’s economy remains stagnant, the prospects for new job creation are bleak, and our state’s workforce continues to show no signs of meaningful growth.

The data reminds us that Vermont needs new, forward looking ideas to grow the economy and reduce barriers to the creation of better paying jobs. And that’s what Vermont’s Republicans offer.

Our fresh, new look at the state’s most significant challenge — growing the economy — and our commitment to an open, balanced and transparent debate about solutions will get results.

Consider that 900 more Vermonters joined the ranks of the unemployed during the month of June and the size of Vermont’s workforce increased just 0.04% (150 workers) in that same time period — not even approaching the amount of jobs or working Vermonters necessary to reverse the loss of more than 8,500 workers since Governor Shumlin first took office.

If Vermont’s workforce had stayed level since 2011 when Governor Shumlin was elected, with today’s number of unemployed Vermonters, the total unemployment rate would actually be 6.0%.

Vermont’s total employment (seasonally adjusted) is only 500 workers higher than it was in January 2011 when Governor Shumlin took office — an increase of only 0.15% during that time.

By no one’s definition — except Governor Shumlin’s — does this indicate a strong and thriving economy.

While Governor Shumlin and his Democrat supermajority continue to deny the underlying conditions of our economy and the stress this stagnant economy — and stagnant wages — place on working families, more Vermonters are suffering.

The political elite in Montpelier, and throughout Vermont, are unwilling to recognize this crisis but working Vermonters understand the need for balance — and change — in Montpelier.

With strategic and forward looking legislation to decrease the cost and barriers to creating jobs in our state, Vermont Republicans will lead the discussion about making Vermont a better and more affordable place to live and work.

With attention and priority given to to the struggles of small businesses and working families — not just the politically powerful elites — we will be the leading advocates for relief that will assure good jobs are retained and more jobs are created.

With a comprehensive strategy that works to lower household costs, like utility bills and property taxes, we can bring relief to overburdened Vermonters.

Together — Vermont Republicans, like-minded Independents, Progressives and Democrats — we can restore a vibrant and thriving economy for working families and small businesses if we have greater balance and fresh thinking in Montpelier.

It’s time for a change.

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