Report: 10,000 more workers a year needed to grow Vermont’s economy

A report from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce says the state needs to add 10,000 people to its workforce every year to grow the economy.

The Vermont Futures Project released a report Monday that says 10,975 more people are leaving the workforce every year than entering it.

Betsy Bishop, president Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Betsy Bishop, president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

The so-called workforce supply gap is the result of more people retiring and fewer people entering the workforce. According to the report, 11,375 Vermonters retire every year, and an additional 7,600 jobs are open for other reasons. At the same time, only 8,000 young people enter the workforce from either high school or college.

To fill the gap, the report suggests that 10,000 people should be added to Vermont’s workforce every year by 2040. To house them, the state would need to add 5,000 new and retrofitted housing units each year starting in 2040, the report says.

Betsy Bishop, the president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, said the organization is asking the Legislature to allocate $200,000 to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to market Vermont to tourists as a good place to live.

The agency was already allocated $200,000 in 2015 in part to promote Vermont as a good place to do business. Bishop said the new money should go to allow the Department of Tourism and Marketing to continue its efforts.

The chamber has already started using its own money to do similar marketing, Bishop said. The chamber is including profiles of people who moved to Vermont after visiting in an annual book it distributes at local chambers of commerce.

“As you increase the workforce population, businesses now have a larger pool of people to hire, and they can now start thinking about expanding areas of their business, and right now they’re stifled from doing that because there’s not enough workers to hire,” Bishop said.

She said efforts to move more Vermonters out of the criminal justice system and into the workforce should continue, and that Vermont should eliminate the so-called benefits cliff that discourages people from entering the workforce for fear of losing subsidized housing and health care. But she said more people still need to come to Vermont.

“Even if we do (all those things), we’re going to have a gap,” Bishop said. “What we’re focused on is, ‘How do we get a few more people here?’”

Bill Shouldice, the CEO of the Vermont Teddy Bear Co., is the chair of the Vermont Futures Project. He said getting people to move to Vermont and to stay here after college would also be key to increasing the workforce.

“Anything short of 10,000 (new people per year) relative to the population curve and the relative growth we have in Vermont will mean less economic opportunity,” Shouldice said.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Vermont’s population increased from about 610,000 in 2000 to 627,000 in 2014. However, the population growth rate during that period was never higher than a fraction of a percent, and the population actually declined marginally in 2012 and 2014.

Economists and demographers say one of the main reasons for low population growth is that Vermonters are not having enough children. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for recent years show that Vermont women have an average of 1.6 babies over a lifetime, compared with 1.9 nationally.

“We have to leverage our recreational assets — and that’s not just skiing,” Shouldice said. He pointed to his hometown near Lake Dunmore, which is southeast of Middlebury and attracts second homeowners.

“There are people who own second homes around that lake who own large corporations and we haven’t even talked to them yet” about living here, investing in an existing business, starting a business or opening a satellite location in Vermont, he said.

To get young professionals to move to or stay in Vermont, Shouldice said the state could also work with people in higher education to increase internship opportunities for students. As an example, he said Ireland requires businesses to take interns because it’s a good way to grow the workforce.

Most of all, Shouldice said Vermont should embrace immigrants and ethnic diversity as a way to increase the workforce. “I know that can be controversial, but I also know that unless we come together … we’re going to be sitting here with not enough folks to get the job done, and that’s not acceptable.”

Erin Mansfield

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  • Tom Pelham

    A key part of the remedy to this situation is fixing the “benefits cliff”. The benefits cliff is when increased income from the private sector is more than off-set by the loss in public sector benefits. Here’s an example:

    http://m.kidsvt.com/vermont/tough-choices-vermont-parents-are-opting-out-of-work-to-retain-their-benefits/Content?oid=2189660

    And here’s a broader view:

    https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/06/tom-pelham-the-benefits-cliff-is-bad-for-everyone/

    With an unemployment rate in Vermont of 3.3%, among the lowest if not the lowest in the nation, fixing the benefits cliff will encourage Vermonters to return to or advance in private sector employment and thus help reduce the cost of government as private sector wages and benefits supplant public subsidies.

    • Julia Purdy

      What I’ve read about this is that the hue and cry is over well-housed, well-clothed, well-fed professionals with second incomes bemoaning the cost of unsubsidized child care and being not only willing but quite able to give up the second income in order to get the assistance.
      When the low-income and very-low-income folks try to keep their incomes low in order to get benefits that are worth much more than a minimum-wage job pays out, they’re called welfare cheats.

  • How about we fix our state financially so good companies come and employee good people with good wages.
    I don’t believe we need 11,000 more low skilled people to fill low skilled jobs when they end up on public assistance. (see federal government statistics, 66% of immigrants, legal and illegal are on some form of public assistance).
    We certainly do not have 11,000 high-paying, high skilled jobs waiting to be filled in the state.

    • Julia Purdy

      Is this a mania?
      If anything, we need to start offering programs throughout our education system that will prepare young Vermonters for meaningful and well-paying work right here. Take a look at Joblink, Vt. Dept. of Labor’s job board. Take a look at Indeed. If those jobs can’t be filled by Vermonters, something is wrong.
      On the other side of the coin, young people will leave anyway. That’s what young people do unless–and even if–they have decent job prospects or family here.
      The young-professional millennials elsewhere who are being wooed even as we speak through direct-recruiting campaigns should be warned that skiing (expensive and only seasonal) and scenery (you can’t eat it) are only one part of the picture. They should be told to come backed with their own financial resources to cover at least 6 months.

    • Walter Carpenter

      “We certainly do not have 11,000 high-paying, high skilled jobs waiting to be filled in the state.”

      Not sure on that, but if we raised the wages there would be more earning more cash that might help create some of those 11,000 jobs. Wealth flows upward not down.

  • Pete Novick

    You: 31, HS diploma, HVAC site supervisor, some OEM-sponsored training, same employer 10+ years, $55K base, plus bonus

    Your partner/spouse: 28, associate degree, medical technologist (radiology), employer helping pay tuition for RN degree, same employer 6 years, $47K base

    Residence: Pittsburgh, PA

    Two kids, 8 & 5

    Just bought first house

    Of the 100 million households in the US, there are millions like this.

    What’s your pitch to get them to relocate?

    • Tom Grout

      Lets reopen Yankee Vernon and there would be 100 jobs paid out with approaching six figure.

      • John Greenberg

        Tom Grout:
        “Lets reopen Yankee Vernon ….” Maybe it’s not too late. All you need to do is hand Entergy around $500 million or so and you’re all set (assuming the NRC grants you a license). Good luck raising the money. Let us know when you’ve arranged the financing.

      • except it was losing money and leaking and creaking around the edges. Nuclear is a money loser unless the government (Taxpayers) chips in huge subsidies.

    • Randy Jorgensen

      Lift tickets at the ski resorts that are pushing $100/day?

      High fuel costs with a looming carbon tax every year?

      Property taxes that go up to the tune of 25+% over 4 years?

      Schools that are falling apart for your two kids?

      $300,000 for a 40 year old raised ranch with a $6,000 property tax bill?

      • Arthur Hamlin

        I don’t think 10,000 people a year is realistic. More like pie in the sky. But an Unlimited season pass at Pico is $400. There are lift tickets available for under $40 at major ski areas if you look.
        You don’t need to worry about a Carbon tax because it isn’t happening. Net metered solar and heat pumps are much more feasible than you think.
        Property taxes and home prices are high but they don’t have to continue going up. Our district (OSSU) hasn’t increased the budget for several years and our taxes show it. And our schools are not falling apart!

  • Pam Jedlicka

    The headline should read “Vermont needs more taxpayers.” I work for an employer who draws from out of state candidates. They come here to get their foot in the door but mostly wind up leaving when a job comes along in a more financially friendly state that has more to offer their age group (25-40’ish….) My employer pays well but it is still very expensive to buy a home and raise a family here in Vermont when there are so many other places one could go. And go they do.

    • Neil Johnson

      So true about housing, and it’s a problem created solely by regulation, there is no first step in Vermont. We need a huge attitude shift. How many more people go on public assistance every year? If you are at all capable one should be working at something, many people get themselves into more trouble when things are too idle. We are not promoting good, common sense business/basic life skills in this state. Everyone is complaining and saying they aren’t earning enough money and being supported with this idea, minimum wage puts you in the top 90% of the worlds earning. You have to be frugal, it’s actually trait worth acquiring.

  • William Geller

    I have skied all over Vermont and meet more and more families who live in Vermont and work for out of state companies, I never see any state official or advertisement featuring these successful Vermont families trying to interest others to investigate moving their families to Vermont. Many years ago Gov. Dean would ski at Glen Ellen wearing a forest service ski suit and then spend time in the lodge talking to folks and thanking them for spending time in Vermont and explaining the benefits of the lifestyle. This one to one exposure to visitors by the state top officials was unique and brought back plenty of results. I have spent over a 100 days per year for over 40 years in different ski areas in Vermont watching families with disposable income bring their families to Vermont and I never see any state officials doing any cross selling of the Vermont lifestyle. ( I do see some advertising about weddings). About time top officials start spending time meeting more visitors.

  • Bruce Wilkie

    Skilled young people and couples are leaving Vermont in droves. They are going to states where there is little or no state income tax, multiple high skilled job opportunities and property taxes that are a small fraction of what they are in Vermont. In the course of their working life, they will save hundreds of thousands of dollars, which will pay for their children’s education, allow them to save for retirement, and perhaps retire early. There is very little that Vermont can offer to stem this exodus.

    • Christopher Daniels

      This fiction gets repeated over and over again.

      • Bruce Wilkie
        • Christopher Daniels

          You’ve backed up your claim that young people are leaving Vermont in droves by citing cherry-picked statistics about overall population in a cherry-picked time frame. Good job.

          • Glenn Thompson

            Perhaps you would care to explain in detail why Vt.’s population is “stagnant”? Using my own family as an example. Back when I was a kid the entire klan were Vermonters. Now they are scattered all over the country. The ones (a majority of which) who are classified as millennials, have relocated to areas of the country where there is greater potential for career success, higher wages, and a lower cost of living. Those who have chosen to stay in Vermont tread water to achieve economic success due to Vermont’s high cost of living and high taxation. Contrary to what some may believe, there are “green pastures” outside of Vermont.

          • Doug Hoffer

            The repeated assertion that Vermont is a high tax state is terribly misleading. Taxes vary greatly based on income. It is not helpful to generalize. In fact, total state & local tax liability for moderate-income families in Vermont is right in the middle of the pack.

            https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-to-be-a-taxpayer/2416/#methodology

            Moreover, while Vermont’s population is stagnant, we are not alone. There are ten states with population growth under 1% (MS, OH, PA, MI, RI, ME, CT, VT, IL, and WV.

            Like many other states, we have lots of problems to solve. But it really doesn’t help to constantly harp on how Vermont is exceptionally bad. It’s simply not true.

          • Randy Jorgensen

            Interesting, 80% of those states listed happen to be BLUE, 50% of them happen to be in the top 10 of the highest effective state and local tax states from the wallet hub(WH) link provided. If wallet hub actually used the median VT home value of ~$240,000 instead of $175,000 it certainly would of moved VT up several notches. Just an observation.

            Vermont and only three other states has a lower population today then it did in 2010. The others include CT which happens to be ranked #4 on WH and IL that is ranked #1 on WH) Three of 4 happen to be Blue states, another observation.

            http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/50

      • edward letourneau

        Its not fiction. Its fact. I just retired and can calculate life time quarter million dollar difference between living in Vermont and Georgia. The same holds true for people still working. I will get nothing for my quarter million taken in taxes and fees in Vermont.

        • Christopher Daniels

          You’re confusing your own circumstances with the overall situation. I’m certain that you know people who think like you do, and and have acted in similar fashion, and that reinforces your belief. But this doesn’t mean that it’s true in the big picture. I’m not diminishing what your saying or experiencing. I’m just saying it’s not true for the whole, and that the stats back this up.

        • Julia Purdy

          Still doesn’t answer the charge of cherry-picking. The issue is “leaving Vermont in droves.” The Census numbers say yes,1,897 left Vermont in 2014-2015, but out of the total population that is minuscule and no one seems to be talking about the numbers of people who have been moving in, for however long or short a term.

          • Randy Jorgensen

            The definition of “droves” is obscure.

            Vermont is one of only 4 states that has a lower population then it did in at the 2010 census. It’s has declines in 3 of the past 3 years. This represents .2% of the population or ~1300 people. Is that a “drove”? I would say no, however if the same percentage left from NY that would equate to nearly 40,000 people. Is that a drove?

            I think you can see the migration “trend”

            https://html2-f.scribdassets.com/2n0rbzg5vk5n5c5x/images/1-4a525a4a8f.jpg

          • Randy Jorgensen

            Sorry here is the Key:

            Green line in Net migration
            Red line in Imigration
            Blue in Birth/Deaths

            And it has declines 3 or the last 4 years.

      • Neil Johnson

        Actually it true, my brother bought two homes, 40 acres in Maine, pays $900 per year in property tax. His home in Vermont which is smaller than either of the homes is $3200 per year in property tax. They actually assist them in making it easier to get permits, haven’t seen that in Vermont.

        Our local sheriff retired 10 years ago in North Carolina, for the same money in selling his Vermont house, he got one 2x the size, in better shape and pays 1/2 in taxes, plus they pick up his trash, have paid fire and ambulance.

        I’m in real estate, and here these “fictional” stories every day. It’s not fiction, please support your statement with a state the has higher taxes and fewer job opportunities, we’re all ears.

        • John Greenberg

          Neil Johnson:
          “for the same money in selling his Vermont house, he got one 2x the size, in better shape …” And that’s supposed to demonstrate what precisely?

          After the crisis in 2008-9, you could have bought whole city blocks in Detroit for $10,000 or so. So your sheriff could have sold his house in Vermont and bought quite a few blocks of Detroit houses. Does that suggest that Detroit’s economy was doing better than ours??

          By your reasoning, it certainly appears to.

      • Pam Jedlicka

        Prove it’s fiction. really.

    • Kyle Williams

      Christopher, tell Kiplinger they are peddling fiction. Seems we are always listed as one of the most tax unfriendly States in the nation, in this case, we came in number 1.

      http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T037-S001-10-least-tax-friendly-states-for-retirees-2016/index.html

      • edward letourneau

        You need to sit down and actually work the numbers. I can calculate a 20 year difference of a quarter million disposable income between Vermont and Georgia. Tennessee is close to the Georgia number. And both states have the same green mountains we have here.

      • Kyle Williams

        Edward, my comment about Kiplinger peddling fiction was in jest. I don’t doubt you could save a bunch by moving to just about any other State. I think about it every time I go to pay my very close to 10K property tax bill.

      • Doug Hoffer

        Kiplinger is not reliable. The only way to compare states is to run the numbers for families of different sizes, different ages (working vs. retired), different income levels, different types of income (earned vs.unearned), home owners vs. renters, etc. Kiplinger didn’t do this and neither do any of the sources you hear from in the media. If they simply say that Vermont has a high top marginal tax rate, it makes people think it matters. In fact, the top rate only applies to the first dollar over $410,000. Our graduated tax system is actually pretty good for low- and moderate-income filers. And of course Kiplinger didn’t bother to note the income sensitivity in our education property tax. Moreover, there’s a lot of misinformation about taxing Social Security. See here http://www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo/issue_briefs_and_memos/2016-10%20Social%20Security%20Benefits.pdf

        Bottom line: Do not believe most of these rankings sites. This is more complicated than they would have you believe.

      • Pam Jedlicka

        I used to get a magazine called ‘Where to Retire.” They had a chart that compared costs of living across the states that were included in that sampling (It was many states, not just a few). Vermont was always at the top of the list for costliest states and other states 30-40% less costly than here. At some point, Vermont stopped showing up in that chart and I always wondered how/why. Maybe the state doesn’t want it being pointed out that you can live better financially elsewhere.

    • Julia Purdy

      “in droves?” – I beg to differ. This issue seems to be approaching the hysteria stage.
      The U.S. Census Bureau tracks population movement every year, in the spring, using in-person interviews with field interviewers. You should start there. Also, the online magazine Governing.com published migration stats in Jan. 19 under the title “The States with Declining Populations.” The article cited Census figures, which showed that between 2014 and 2015, a total of 1,897, but the article does not mention how many people entered the state to live. Overall, calculating births versus deaths, there was a net gain over all of 1,181.
      Americans are highly mobile, no surprise there. Even if you gave them every amenity you could think of, when they think they can get a better deal somewhere else, they’ll move there if they can. We know this.
      We have bought into Vermont “branding.” We risk losing the Vermont we know and love. It risks becoming something else entirely.

      • edward letourneau

        One element the census data gets dead wrong — for the data you are using — is the fact they count college students as residents. They come for school and leave when done. So its not an accurate number.

      • Scott Whittemore

        I have 5 kids all with college degrees 3 with masters, none live in VT, they all grew up here

    • Doug Hoffer

      Actually, they’re not leaving “in droves.”

      In any case, the problem is pretty simple. The number of job opportunities in the cities dwarfs what we have in Vermont. That’s a matter of scale having nothing to do with public policy. Second, wages are much higher in the cities, sometimes as much as 60% above Vermont. Isn’t it interesting that people don’t acknowledge that? Blaming policymakers is easy, but not always on point.

      As for taxes, if you’re young and at the start of your career, you are not paying much at all for state income tax because Vermont’s graduated tax system is pretty good at low- and moderate-income levels. Education property taxes are income sensitized so that shouldn’t be a problem for young homeowners (although municipal property taxes can be an issue.

      Finally, the fact that some young people leave for the cities is not unique to Vermont. It’s an issue for all of rural America and has been going on for decades.

      • John Jacobs

        Doug – you can’t be blind?

        -Act 250 leads to a lack of development
        -ever rising property tax rates and low development lead to a high cost of living
        -the above lead to a lack of good jobs
        -our education system is a disaster
        -our tax system favors the no and low income groups due to liberal policy that shields them from feeling the financial effects of their votes

        I could go on.
        Instead my wife and I (31 & 29, college educated, debt free sans mortgage) and our $150k income will leave the state in the next 4-5 years because there is no opportunity for us to further develop our careers here, we know we will continue to pay a higher % of our income to the state or town and the education our future kid(s) get would be better elsewhere.

        We bought our first home in 2015, our gift from the town, a reassessment and $700/year more in property tax. Good thing I got a raise in 2016, lol.

        We are the residents VT needs more, not less.

      • John Greenberg

        Doug Hoffer:

        “Finally, the fact that some young people leave for the cities is not unique to Vermont. It’s an issue for all of rural America and has been going on for decades.”

        In fact, it’s a worldwide phenomenon which started roughly a century ago with improvements in agricultural mechanization and productivity. The most dramatic example in today’s world is China, where hundreds of millions of rural Chinese are moving into urban areas.

        It is worth keeping in mind that we Americans are an extremely mobile bunch: about 12% of us change residence each year (which is lower than usual).

        The census bureau did a study of those who moved in 2012-2013 and lists the reasons given in a series of charts. Taxes don’t even appear on the charts. The most common reasons, by far, are housing, family, and employment. “Other” accounts for 2.2%. https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p20-574.pdf

        Here’s a study on the topic: http://www.cbpp.org/research/tax-flight-is-a-myth

      • Randy Jorgensen

        “Second, wages are much higher in the cities, sometimes as much as 60% above Vermont.’

        We aren’t just talking about cities, Doug, although you may like to site that. The cost of LIVING is why salaries are high in cities. Cost of living is high in VT, housing is typically old and relatively expensive compared to many states, salaries don’t follow the cost of living in VT.

        According to the census Urban incomes are typically 4% higher then rural area’s,

        http://blogs.census.gov/2016/12/08/a-comparison-of-rural-and-urban-america-household-income-and-poverty/

        “Median incomes for rural households in the Northeast ($62,291) and Midwest ($55,704) were higher than their urban counterparts, $60,655 and $51,266, respectively.”

  • edward letourneau

    If the premise of needing 10,000 new taxpayers a year to grow this state is correct, then there is no hope for Vermont. It has never, in its history had 10,000 people a year move here.

    • Neil Johnson

      The real problem is theft in Vermont. While perhaps not outright the results are the same. If a person steals a TV, that cost a $100, and has a 10% margin, the store (Vermont citizens) needs to sell another 10 TV’s just to break even. NO profit, just to cover the theft. In this case I’m using theft in a sense that it’s stealing from life, it’s not building and improving but actually hurting the person (citizens of Vermont) Major expenses that don’t add value are such things as diet pills, lottery tickets, drugs, abuse of alcohol. Then to a similar degree are programs that are ineffective, money is somebodies life, when we waste it we waste something very precious. Ineffective government, (school funding/EB5 scandal/health care scams) literally suck the life blood from people. Any public assistance not critical is also theft. It doesn’t take much theft to bankrupt a store, or Vermont.

  • Moshe Braner

    And why do we “need” a larger economy? Divided over more people, that may be less per person. Especially if the added households need services: think about the school budgets…

    Time to get out of the “must have growth” reflex, and consider: who would gain, and who would lose.

    • Scott Whittemore

      I think the report is not about growing but just staying even

  • For the past 50 years Vermont has been used by the elites for their utopia.They have moved here and brought their wealth with them,no need to work. Managed to get elected to the legislature and start developing their ideal state.In the process,they have managed to alienate every person or business that would not adhere to there plans for a better Vermont.Now everything has come full circle. All the industry has left,and any prospects of investments from industry is gone. They put all their money into tourism.Looking at our present situation tourism is not helping in year round decent paying jobs.Its time Montpelier scraped their idealist idea that they can be savior of and for all.Reality is smacking you square in the face,man up and face it.

  • Frederick Woekner

    More people means more demand for services, schools, etc. More people means more development – less open space, clean air and water. I moved from NJ (a once beautiful state) that was destroyed by population ‘growth’ and over development. Wages are low in VT – more workers means more available labor and even less wage growth. Throughout its history VT has always seen its young people immigrate to the big city and other states – this is human nature not because something is wrong with VT. Young folks want to move to the city because the city is totally different then VT. Those who want to change VT into NJ or MA should not bother – move to those wonderful job opportunity places and leave the rest of us to enjoy what makes VT a special place. BTW, I am not some ‘trust funder’ – the mostly mythical rich flatlander who has colonized VT and turned it into some kind of flatlander Disneyland while the poor natives become either serfs or Ne’er-do-wells.

    • Julia Purdy

      The “rich flatlander” is not mythical and neither is the result you describe is not. Many long-time Vermonters and those who grow up here are dismayed at what Vermont is becoming. I have spoken with a woman from Vermont who now lives in Maine and was visiting Woodstock, where she grew up. She was upset and disgusted. She said she would never come back. Woodstock, she said, was becoming another Camden, Maine. I have applied for professional-level jobs only to realize that my status as a Vermonter made me a persona non grata (I should have guessed it, as the job postings paint a glowing picture of autumn foliage and great skiing). The suburban neighborhoods on the highlands above Burlington could just as easily be in St. Louis, Missouri, were it not for Camel’s Hump in the distance. And now we face the prospect of NewVista, the brainchild of crank millionaire David Hall.
      Vermont is bent on “branding” but may well rue the day.

  • At the Essex Co-Working space – Excelerate Essex – we are seeing young folks with families moving into the community, often bringing higher paying jobs from out of state. I believe there are 19 co-working spaces in Vermont and that number is growing. I hope Montpelier takes a good look at the value of these centers of innovation.

  • marsha camp

    raising the minimum wage, and other middle class wages, would bring workers in…they would choose vermont… why not a liveable wage. more people have money to spend and businesses profit and wouldn’t it be great if we really worked on our local economies….

  • Julia Purdy

    For how many years? Until we have suburbs on all the farmlands left by the solar companies? Let’s make sure the tail is not wagging the dog here. Is anybody looking at the long term? What is wrong with letting be? Maybe our eyes are bigger than our stomach, as my grandmother used to say.
    I once worked as a mortgage loan officer. A wealthy woman came in to apply for a $22,000 second mortgage so she could buy her son a (used) Mercedes to drive while at college. This was in 1986. Her loan-to-debt ratio would not permit her to qualify. All she had to do was to get rid of the $300+ monthly credit card bill (imagine that!). She became incensed and stomped out. The lesson seemed clear: she needed to scale back, not plunge further into debt.
    Vermont has withstood many vicissitudes because of its old-fashioned values of thrift and perspicacity. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater!

  • I guess the tourism based economy isn’t working so well after all. Resorts pay such low wages locals are replaced by temporary foreign workers.

  • We have thousands of recent high school grads and young parents in Vermont who could fill the bill if the state offered training and support. Instead of having another $200,000 go down the hole with the “$200,000 in 2015 in part to promote Vermont as a good place to do business… to allow the Department of Tourism and Marketing to continue its efforts” let’s spend it on our kids- helping them qualify for these jobs and stay in Vermont. Duh!

  • Willem jewett

    I think a bit more work on those numbers is in order. 11,375 retire from workforce and 8,000 join workforce. That’s a 3,375 annual deficit. It’s not clear to me that the other 7,600 is a recurring need though.

  • Not much discussion here regarding the quality of work force that will be required. In high tech economies of Asia and Northern Europe, the manufacturing sector usually now hires people with math and engineering skills our high school (and college) graduates typically lack.
    Low skill people will continue to earn low skill wages as technology moves forward.
    If, we have to import our high skill workers, are we really much better off?
    Time to send our kids to math camp in the summer. Brave new world.

  • Well, my husband and I are moving to Vermont later this year. That is two!

  • Nicole boar

    Why do we need more people in Vermont? Folks come here on vacation to get lots of country views and recreational activities. If we become like every other State, there is no attraction and no vacation dollars. Keep Vermont beautiful, leave the forests intact and the rivers and lakes clean. I like it just fine the way it is. Industry destroys the air, land,lakes, wildlife, and forests.

  • Faye Starr

    I moved back to Vermont to help care for my elderly mother. I work in Tech. The lack of cell phone coverage and horrible to non-existent Internet makes my life here very difficult and my ability to make a living challenging. With better resources people might be more inclined to move to Vermont.

  • Carole Bilotta Clark

    I was driven out of Vermont because I had a so-called non-conforming property I was trying to rent until I could get back and live year round. The buyer of my distressed property demolished a 3 car salt box garage rather than repair it because he couldnt swing the taxes. : ( I cling to 5 acres I fear improving as the taxes are astronomical on my social security. That damn school tax is killing us out of state and discouraging us from building something.

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