Vermont’s Working Families Continue to Suffer While Shumlin Administration “Hopes” Conditions Will Improve

Montpelier, VT – Vermont’s working families, young people, seniors, and small business owners received more bad economic news from the state’s Department of Labor Monday. The Shumlin economy continues to falter. In July, the total seasonally adjusted number of employed Vermonters dropped, the number of unemployed Vermonters rose and the size of our overall workforce remained virtually stagnant.

An additional 1,150 Vermont workers joined the unemployment lines in July, continuing a disturbing trend that has seen increases in the total number of unemployed for each of the last two months. Consequently, our state’s unemployment rate rose for the second straight month and is at its highest level since February of this year.

Also worrisome is the continued lack of growth in the size of Vermont’s workforce. Last month, the total seasonally adjusted workforce increased by only 200 workers. Even with those additions, the total loss of Vermont workers since January 2011 when Governor Shumlin first took office stands at 8,850.

If Vermont’s workforce had stayed only flat since 2011 — with our current number of working Vermonters — the state’s unemployment rate would be 6.25%. That’s higher than the state’s unemployment rate when Governor Shumlin first took office.

Most disturbingly, another month has passed with no comprehensive statewide economic development plan from Governor Shumlin or the Democrat supermajority in the legislature.

Also of deep concern is the statement by Vermont’s Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan which accompanied the release of the new data. Commissioner Noonan stated, “…we hope this (the unemployment rate increase) will resolve as we move into the early fall…”

“Hope” is not an economic development plan. Wishful thinking will not create new jobs and new opportunities for Vermont’s working families.

As Vermont’s economy remains stagnant at best — and with no economic development plan from the Shumlin administration or the Democrat supermajority in the legislature — it’s clear that improvement for the working families of our state will require new leadership in Montpelier.

Vermont Republicans are ready to lead and bring a new economic vision to our state. By easing the oppressive tax burden on our State’s citizens and small businesses, removing the obstacles to job creation, and providing strategic incentives for new job growth in our state, Vermont Republicans — with the support of Vermont voters in November — will usher in a new era of progress and opportunities for the Green Mountain State. It’s what Vermonters want and deserve.

It’s time for a change.