Vermont tops N.E. states in private-sector job losses

MONTPELIER - The 2009 recession hit hard and deep in Vermont's private sector, especially in construction and manufacturing. About 6 percent of private sector jobs have disappeared since the recession started nearly two years ago.

Losses have also spread to the public sector in 2009, as state government made cuts to reduce state spending. The Douglas administration is on track to reduce the number of state jobs by more than 8 percent by the end of the year-eliminating a total of over 700 state positions.

A report, State of Working Vermont 2009, by Public Assets Institute in Montpelier, highlights these changes and their effects on Vermont's workers and their families. It argues that cutting state jobs has worsened the recession for the state's economy and its people.

"We have to recognize that there are negative consequences to cutting the state payroll," said Public Assets Institute president Paul Cillo. "In the private sector, companies have to lay off workers because there is no work for them. We're seeing cuts in state services just when the recession is forcing more and more people to turn to state government for help. And to the extent the administration is laying off state workers, it is making the recession worse and increasing the cost of unemployment."

According to the report, Vermont had lost more of its private sector jobs through 2009 than any of the other New England states. Since the start of the recession, the number of private sector jobs in Vermont dropped by more than 15,000.

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