By David Flemming
A few weeks ago, Ethen Allen Institute reported on how 1 in 4 Vermont businesses was forced to close one or more days in 2020. The flip side to that note is the number of employees who were told by their employers to not work one or more days in 2020. Hint: it’s more than double the “forced to close” club.
Vermont had 56.8% of its employers tell employees not to work at least one day in 2020, higher than any New England state. Only Michigan (63.3%), New York (59.6%), Pennsylvania (59.6%) and New Jersey (59%) had a higher percentage of such employers in the U.S. This does not mean every employee at the 13,020 Vermont businesses was told not work, only that at least one employee from each of those businesses was not working.
This metric sits between the “forced business closure” metric and the unemployment metric. Curiously enough, Vermont is tied with Nebraska for lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 3.1%. But keep in mind that Vermont has also received some of the most money per capita of any state in the country. If the government money dries up, only businesses that are able to produce items that consumers want to buy will prosper. Also keep in mind that Vermont has one of the oldest populations in the country, meaning that superb unemployment rate doesn’t account for all of the people who are retired. Thus, an ever-shrinking number of workers must support an ever increasing number of retired folks if they weren’t able to save fore retirement.
David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.