Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock's most recent advertisement shows Gov. Peter Shumlin crooning. It also lists off what sound like devastating statistics for the Vermont economy.
"Sometimes I think Randy is not running for chief executive of the state of Vermont, he's running for chief pessimist for the state of Vermont," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.
"One of the things I think is critically important is to tell Vermonters the truth," Brock said. "You know we have a great state, great future, great opportunities, but we have real problems. To ignore those problems would be a great mistake."
So what is the truth? VTDigger.org and Seven Days took a shot at finding it by fact checking the governor's jobs record this week.
According to the Vt. Labor Department, the VTDigger and Seven Days article is factually correct, but taken out of context. When Shumlin said 7,500 jobs were created since he took office, he was correct; the number was just outdated. That's the number of jobs created as of June this year. Now, the number of jobs created-- as the article pointed out-- is actually 1,700.
The labor department says most of the jobs lost were due to school closures for the summer. They expect most to be replenished by next month's jobs report.
"We have the fifth lowest unemployment rate in America. The only state to see income growth of all 50 states in the last two years, more economic growth, job creation than all New England states," Shumlin said.
Those numbers also check out, but what the governor fails to mention about the low unemployment rate is its high margin of error-- which is 0.7 percent. Vermont's unemployment rate is currently 5.3 percent, but given the margin of error it could actually be as high as 6 percent or as low as 4.6 percent. Not as bad as the 6.8 percent unemployment Vermont saw back in 2009, but not nearly as good as pre-recession in 2007 when unemployment was 4 percent.
"We have more work to do, but we're seeing real job growth. Our economy is getting better. Things are looking up," Shumlin said.
When it comes to fixing the Vermont economy, both candidates say we need to find a way to keep young people in state. Brock want to start a campaign called "Vermont is open for business" -- a slogan started by the Shumlin administration after Tropical Storm Irene that Brock says has failed to stay relevant.
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