by Timothy McQuiston and Charlotte Lyman Vermont Teddy Bear President Bill Shouldice doesn't take a break from his shift on the packing line at the Shelburne plant to explain the dilemma his company faces. On the one hand, sales are great. You couldn't play Pandora before Christmas without hearing about PajamaGram, another VTB brand. On the other hand, he needs seasonal workers in a region of the state in which the unemployment rate hovers around 2 percent. You couldn't listen to local radio without hearing Shouldice in an ad looking for employees.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott has announced matching grants will be awarded to the Schooner Lois McClure and the General George Stannard House. The grants, totaling $80,000 and funded by the state legislature, support the restoration and rehabilitation of two important resources that are vital to the telling of Vermont’s maritime and Civil War histories.
Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims increased last week as holiday hiring fluctuated. Volatility is typical this time of year. Claims remain lower than at the same time last year, as they have been for most weeks in 2017. Holiday hiring will see a reverse after Christmas, when claims typically spike again. For the week of December 16, 2017, there were 688 claims, 102 more than than they were last week but 93 fewer than they were a year ago. Altogether 4,371 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 210 from a week ago, but 978 fewer than a year ago.
Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) joined a letter led by Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and signed by Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) are calling for the reversal of reported internal policie
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Taxes has been working diligently to assess the impending impacts of federal tax changes. Coordinating closely with other departments and agencies, the department is focused on determining how aspects of the proposed bill will impact Vermonters, and what the magnitude of that impact may be.
Public Assets Institute In November 550 more workers were employed. But over the longer term the trends have been different for different age groups. The biggest change is for the youngest Vermonters, ages 16 to 24. After a long decline, the share who had jobs climbed more than 6 percentage points from 2012 through 2016—from 52.2 percent to 58.6 percent. Meanwhile, the percentages of prime-age (25-54) and older (55-plus) workers employed has remained about the same since the end of the recession in 2009.
by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for November was 2.9 percent. This reflects no change from the revised October and September rates. Jobs grew in both the seasonally adjusted and unadjusted data for both the month and year-to-year. The Labor Force also increased. However, the unadjusted unemployment rate for the state and in every Labor Market increased for the month, but are still below where they were a year ago. The national rate in November was 4.1 percent, also unchanged. As of the prior month’s preliminary data, the Burlington-South Burlington Metropolitan NECTA was tied for the ninth lowest unemployment rate in the country for all metropolitan areas. Overall, Vermont’s unemployment rate was tied for the fifth lowest in the country for November. New Hampshire was tied for third (2.7 percent, unchanged from October, see chart below).
Vermont Business Magazine Today, Secretary of Administration Susanne Young issued a directive requiring all executive branch employees participate in sexual harassment training classes offered through the State of Vermont Department of Human Resources (DHR).
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power is preparing for a series of storms that are forecasted to hit Vermont starting Friday. Forecasters say the Friday storm could bring 3-8” of snow, with the heaviest snowfall in Southern Vermont. Then another storm is set to impact Vermont early Saturday morning with rain, freezing rain, and sleet.
Vermont Business Magazine The Attorney General and the Vermont Human Rights Commission have released their Report on Act 54 - Racial Disparities in State Systems to the Joint Justice Legislative Oversight Committee. Section 3 of Act 54charges the Attorney General, together with the Human Rights Commission and interested stakeholders, with developing a strategy to address racial disparities within the state systems of education, labor and employment, access to housing, healthcare, and economic development. The over-arching theme was that in order for Vermont to successfully address and reduce racial disparities, it will need to change the underlying culture of our state with regard to race.
by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Public Utility Commission today approved Green Mountain Power’s rate increase of 5.02 percent for 2018. An average homeowner will see his electric bill go up about $5 a month (the average bill now is $97 and it will increase to $102).
Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) voted unanimously to approve OneCare Vermont’s $620 million 2018 Accountable Care Organization (ACO) budget. The budget was approved with a series of conditions that the ACO must meet to better ensure that quality improvement and cost containment efforts are successful.