F1-MJB064 The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in October. Vermont has the second-lowest rate in New England, but lags when it comes to increasing employment. So far this year, the southern New England states have seen at least 3 percent growth in the number of people employed. In Vermont, that number is up less than 0.05 percent, and employment has shrunk in Maine.       Slow net gains Vermont’s private sector creates tens of thousands of jobs each year, and tens of thousands are lost as businesses shrink or close. Read more
perpupil2015small Vermont’s education funding system ensures that all students, regardless of the wealth of their communities, have equal access to money to support their education. The state could simply allocate the same amount of money for every student. But Vermont has a long tradition of local control, which would disappear if spending decisions were dictated from Montpelier. To balance equal access to resources with local control, the system creates a level playing field for all communities to raise money for education, but local voters have the final say about how much they spend. Read more
By JACK HOFFMAN, VtDigger, October 17, 2014          Jon Margolis did a nice job of popping some campaign balloons earlier this week with his column about the Vermont economy. Popping campaign balloons, after all, is both the job and the fun of being a political columnist. He set the record straight and drew a few laughs by letting everyone in on the little secret that Vermont’s economy is influenced much more heavily by the national economy than by political leaders in Montpelier, even the one in the governor’s office. Read more

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