VT unemployment up. Shumlin’s jobs claims don’t jibe with facts.

by Rob Roper

There is a great episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry begs George to teach him to lie like he does so that he (Jerry) can pass a lie detector test. George’s tip, earnestly conferred, “It’s not a lie, if you believe it.” So often when I hear Peter Shumlin speak, this line comes rushing back into the forefront of my thoughts. Does he really believe what he’s saying, and is that how he can actually present it with a straight face?

At the WPTZ debate between Shumlin and Randy Brock, Shumlin came right out of the box in his opening statement with this quote: “I said when I ran that we would, together, get some tough things done to create jobs and opportunities for Vermonters…. Coming out of the worst recession we had two challenges: unemployment and underemployment. Guess what? Twenty-two months later, Vermont has the fifth lowest unemployment rate in America.”

Yeah, but, guess what? Twenty-two months ago, when Shumlin came into office, Vermont had the FOURTH lowest unemployment rate in America. And, as of October 19 and the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Vermont has slipped to SIXTH. The man has taken us backwards, yet he looks Vermonters in the eye and spouts our ranking as if he is responsible for some great, crowning achievement. The fact is that over the past six months, as national unemployment rates have come down, Vermont’s unemployment rate has gone up 17% from 4.6% to 5.4%, while at the same time the total labor force in the state shrank.

Shumlin’s policies of single payer healthcare and “investing” in “green jobs” were supposed to create jobs for Vermont. His critics said these policies would actually drive jobs away. Twenty-two months later, guess what? It looks like Shumlin’s critics are right.


2 thoughts on “VT unemployment up. Shumlin’s jobs claims don’t jibe with facts.

  1. Most voters listen to a sound bite piece of data, have no way to refute it on their own because knowledge, time and resources are needed to do so. The listener must choose to believe or disbelieve it based on their trust in the politician. However they choose to spin these data into sound bites without context is nothing but rhetoric. “Data without context is noise.” – Edward Pscheidt

  2. Jobs data can be a dangerous tool for politicians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of people at work in Vermont has been shrinking. The number of people looking for work has shrunk slightly faster, giving the purported drop in unemployment rate. Labor force participation rates are reported elsewhere, but I believe that has also been dropping. Overall, the picture is not really encouraging.

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