4-18-14 – Peter’s Political Seasonings

by Chris Campion

Putney’s own Peter Shumlin, never one to lack a tendency to find straws wherever he can grasp them (especially if the straw is a neighbor’s distressed property that he might pick up on the cheap), has outdone himself (again) in promoting Vermont’s low unemployment rate.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says the latest unemployment statistics show Vermont now has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country.

Santa: Doing the job Vermonters won't do

The Vermont Department of Labor announced Friday the state’s unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percent last month to 3.4 percent.

Once again, Shumlin sidesteps the reality on the ground.  The truth is, in caseanyone’s bothering to look at the actual data, is that the seasonally unadjusted employment went down from February to March:

Total Nonfarm February 2014:  309,400

Total Nonfarm March 2014:  307,400

That’s 2,000 fewer jobs.  The VT Dept of Labor also lists the non-seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate, where the number of unemployed went up from February to March, by 100 people – to give Vermont a 4.1% unemployment rate.  All these changes are done with the flick of a setting on the DoL website.

Seasonal, Schmeasonal.

To put it simply, without seasonal adjustments being done to Vermont’s labor force – a significant impact given the bulk of Vermont’s economy is driven by tourism, and a long winter helps maintain seasonal employment – Vermont is still losing jobs.  The largest adjustments between seasonal and non-seasonal are in leisure and trade, retail, etc – and these aren’t the kinds of jobs that support a household by themselves.

To cap off this lunacy, Shumlin has the chutzpah to stand in front of Vermonters and tout the state’s low unemployment number, when 2,000 fewer Vermonters are working in just one month.

Vermont’s labor force has been shrinking.  That’s often the reason why the rate of unemployment goes down, and because the unemployment metric removes those people who give up looking for work, this reduces the unemployment rate, even if everything else remains exactly the same.  Oh, and unemployment claims are going up again.

Unless you enjoy massively unrealistic distortions of the truth.  Then listen away!

This same Shumlin administration promised single-payer in Vermont without a stitch of a plan in sight,  in violation of state law, as to how to fund it, and its estimated costs are roughly double the state’s entire annual tax revenues.

All of which begs the question:  Why does anyone bother listening to Peter?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Donka April 19, 2014 at 4:32 am

The reason people listen to Peter is because that is all the hear. Other than EAI which spreads the true picture, the main stream media will put his unemployment on the TV,Radio(VPR) and newspapers. And they will repeat it over and over. I have argued with people and their answer is they saw it on the news that things are getting better, unemployment is down so the Governor must be doing a good job. All it shows is that the lefts propaganda machine is working. It is time we the Conservatives go on a PR offensive, as we are exceptional, not average. We need to poke holes in their message and let the public know and HEAR the truth. We need to push American values:work ethics,fairness,opportunity(for those that work for it),individual responsibility and compassion. Keep up the great work at the Ethan Allen Institute and thank you.


jim bulmer April 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Perhaps Vermonters will wake up to reality when they receive their property bill this summer.


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