Same Old Shumlin, Different Day
Montpelier, Vt. – In a tenure filled with half-truths and misrepresentations, the statement made by Governor Shumlin Wednesday regarding Vermont’s job growth over the past 12-months is one of his most outrageous.
While Vermonters on main street continue to feel the devastating effects of the Shumlin-Shap Smith Economy every day, the governor continues his same old ways.  Vermont’s middle class continues to struggle — and small businesses are fighting to stay alive — while Governor Shumlin is taking a victory lap on the basis of misrepresented data.
In statements reported by The Burlington Free Press (Mike Donoghue, Shumlin: Vermont Added 3,900 Jobs Last Year, The Burlington Free Press, February 4, 2015), Governor Shumlin boasted that the state created 3,900 new jobs — three quarters of which are reportedly in the private sector.
In true Shumlin fashion, the Governor declined to discuss the number of jobs lost during his tenure or the quality of the new jobs created versus those lost while the Democrat’s have enjoyed one-party rule.
Governor Shumlin’s own Department of Labor reported last month that over the previous 12-months, the number of employed Vermonters increased by just 1,900 — an increase of just 0.50% and an average of only 159 jobs per month.  These are not the type of numbers that a healthy, vibrant economy — an economy that supports and attracts middle class families — should have.
Since January 2011 — while Democrats have had one-party rule in Montpelier — there are 1,100 fewer Vermonters employed.  Meanwhile, our state’s labor force has shrunk by 7,700 people.  These are people that have left the state to find a job, given up trying to find a job, or have retired and were not replaced by younger workers.  These are real Vermonters, with real lives and deep concerns about their economic future.  There is nothing in these numbers — reported by Governor Shumlin’s own Department of Labor — to brag about.
Further, the number of unemployed Vermonters increased by 100 in that same 12-month period from December 2013 to December 2014 — a fact Governor Shumlin failed to mention is his comments yesterday.
Shumlin says there’s 3900 new jobs and his Department of Labor says there has been virtually no net job growth.
The lack of a coherent statewide economic development plan from the Shumlin administration and Democrat legislature is very concerning.
Vermonters need and deserve leadership in Montpelier that will do the difficult work of removing the obstacles to job creation, aggressively reducing our state’s rising costs of living and jumpstarting real net job growth to give struggling Vermonters the opportunity to find a new or better paying job, and to attract more working age families to participate in our economy.
With Republican proposals for job growth and economic development consistently shelved by House Speaker Shap Smith — and his lack of leadership to fill the vacuum created by Governor Shumlin’s absence on the issue — Vermonters are increasingly concerned that the Democrats were not listening in November.
Lt. Governor Phil Scott and Republican legislative leaders, however, are working — alongside willing moderate Democrats and Independents — to advance legislation that will put Vermont’s economy back on track.  By listening to Vermonters and our small business leaders we are proposing legislation to get our state government working alongside job creators — instead of against them.
This is the type of leadership Vermonters deserve in Montpelier and it’s exactly the type of leadership Vermont Republicans provide.
It’s time for a change.