Vermont Democrats’ Economy Still Not Growing for Low and Middle Class

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Department of Labor on Monday released its report on state unemployment in January 2015. The seasonally adjusted data fails to provide the job opportunities — or even hope — many Vermonters are searching for in Vermont’s Peter Shumlin-Shap Smith economy.

In January the size of Vermont’s workforce continued to shrink and is now at its lowest level since Governor Shumlin took office in January 2011.

Vermont’s workforce was 359,500 workers strong when Governor Shumlin was inaugurated in January 2011. Since he and Shap Smith have had an iron grip on all of the lawmaking levers, that workforce has shrunk by an astonishing 10,800 workers. These are real Vermonters who were once working, earning a wage and paying taxes to support the essential services of state government. Since January 2011, they have left the workforce, have not found new jobs in Vermont and were not replaced by new workers.

The total number of employed Vermonters is also near its all time Shumlin-Shap Smith low. The low of 334,300 employed Vermonters set in each of the three months from October 2014 to December 2014 increased by merely 200 in January. This is not the robust job growth or economic recovery Vermonters have been repeatedly promised.

Generations of Democrat policies are clearly not working. Middle class Vermonters need leaders who are willing to focus on the fundamentals of a stronger, more prosperous economy.

The Shumlin-Shap Smith economic policies are deepening Vermont’s affordability crisis. While the cost of living in our state skyrockets, the Democrats have rung up a budget deficit — completely of their own making — of a now estimated $118-million. And they are once again turning to already overburdened taxpayers to close the gap.

It clear that Vermont’s economy is not only stagnant, it’s worsening.

Vermont Republicans are promoting policies that make our state stronger and more affordable for working families. Republicans in the state legislature are pushing bold new ideas to provide much needed property tax relief, reduce barriers to job growth and balance the state budget in a sustainable and responsible way. That is the type of leadership Vermonters want and deserve.

It’s time for a change.