Check the pulse of Vermonters views on the streets and the economy is a big concern.
"I think it's terrible," said Nancy Martell of Shelburne. "It's not going anywhere but down."
"The economy is tough right now. I work in insurance and claims especially, I see a lot of claims escalating in terms of burglaries, break-ins; people are desperate," said Jeanette Deforge of Barre Town.
A new poll conducted for WCAX, WDEV and Vermont Business Magazine asked 600 registered Vermonters the most important problem facing the state: 35 percent said the economy, 27 percent said health care, 12 percent said taxes, 11 percent said education, 4 percent said crime and 12 percent said other.
Reporter Kristin Carlson: Should people be concerned about economy?
Vt. Economist Jeff Carr: Well I think people are always worried about the economy even in good times because they are worried good times may end.
And the times have not been good. Carr says during the recession Vermont lost 14,000 jobs.
"We are making progress. We are halfway there getting jobs back since the economy started to turn around and it's taking a long time, so understandably people are concerned," Carr said.
Unemployment is at 4.6 percent and dropping. Vermont has the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the country.
Kristin Carlson: So could it be state is coming out of the recession and it's slow coming out and that people don't realize it's happening?
Jeff Carr: It could be. I can sit at my computer and see improving trend lines and I can say see that line is going up, it's just not going up fast, and it takes awhile to work its way back and for people to feel the positive effects of what's happening.
Also on the economy, poll results show 48 percent are very concerned about young adults moving out of state for job opportunities, 30 percent are somewhat concerned and 11 percent are a little concerned. Only 11 percent are not concerned at all.
Economist Jeff Carr agrees with Vermonters-- brain drain is a problem leading to a workforce issue in the future that will impact the state's economy.
"What happens with employers-- one of the significant things they look at is there a talented workforce for me to grow or expand my business? And if there isn't, they don't grow here," Carr said.
In our poll the concern about the graying of the Green Mountains crosses party lines. And Carr says it's been an issue for a long time-- several governors have worked on trying to reverse the trend going back to Governor Dean. But Carr says while people are concerned about it, fixing it is much more difficult to figure out. Vermont has the second oldest population in the country, just behind Maine.
Our pollster, Castleton Polling Institute, asked 607 registered Vermont voters how they would vote.
Here are the results:
QUESTION: What do you think is the most important issue facing the state of Vermont today? Is it …
QUESTION: How concerned are you that the state of Vermont is losing young adults who are moving out-of-state for job opportunities? Would you say that you are very concerned, somewhat concerned, concerned just a little bit, or not concerned at all?
CONCERNED A LITTLE BIT
NOT CONCERNED AT ALL
NOT SURE/IT DEPENDS
This survey was conducted for WCAX, WDEV and Vermont Business Magazine by the Castleton Polling Institute at Castleton College. A total of 607 registered voters were interviewed statewide by telephone between May 7th to May 16th.
Those interviewed were selected from a random sample of registered voters in Vermont
The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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