VTGOP STATEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 2015 STATE UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT
Same Policies of the Past, Same Inadequate Results
Montpelier, VT – When Democrat Peter Shumlin was first inaugurated in January 2011, with a Democrat Supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature, he had complete authority to enact his fiscal and economic plans. And he did.
With House Speaker Shap Smith and the Democrat super majorities at his side, he launched a strategy of higher taxes, fees and household costs — everything from new income and property taxes, to a soda tax — that have steadily taken more and more from working and fixed-income Vermonters and their families.
The September 2015 state unemployment report is another reminder of the degree to which these policies have failed Vermonters.
In January 2011, when the Democrats took complete control of state government, Vermont’s labor force was 359,500 workers strong. Over the past 5-years our labor force has shrunk by 12,300 workers. As of September, Vermont’s labor force is only 347,200 — the state’s smallest workforce in nearly 12-years.
And what happened to those 12,300 former members of the workforce? They have retired and not been replaced by younger workers, left the state to find a job, or have given up looking for a job completely.
We know that for the Vermonter who can’t find an adequate job, the unemployment rate is 100%.
But it’s not just the size of Vermont’s workforce that has suffered under the single party Democrat rule in Montpelier. When the Democrats took complete control of state government in January 2011, there were 338,550 Vermonters employed. As of last month, that number is 334,500 — a drop of 4,050 working Vermonters.
What does that mean for the rest of us? Higher taxes and fees, of course. With fewer Vermonters in the workforce, each working Vermonter has to shoulder more of the burden of paying for the unsustainable government systems Democrats refuse (or lack the courage) to rethink or reform — despite repeated proposals and pleas from Republicans to make state government more efficient and less costly. Democrats are content to let the cost of state government rise at twice the rate of growth in paychecks; forcing even more Vermonters and employers to look at relocating to a more affordable state with new and better job opportunities. This is what an downward economic spiral looks like.
Just about one year from now Vermonters will have an important choice to make. We can continue with total one party Democrat rule in Montpelier or choose new leadership with a pro-growth, job creation plan and an absolute commitment to make Vermont affordable again.
It’s time for a change.