Vermont lags as economy bounces back - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont lags as economy bounces back

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Recovery-- it's a word many Vermonters are waiting to hear. But they might be waiting longer than the rest of the nation. At the 22nd Vermont Economic Outlook Conference in Burlington, economist group Northern Economic Consulting looked at the Vermont economy today versus in the next two years. According to the conference, 2013 will be a big recovery year for the nation, but not Vermont.

"We will be growing, just not as fast as we would like it. And slow will continue as far as we can see for Vermont," said Richard Heaps of Northern Economic Consulting, who organizes the Vermont Economic Outlook Conference.

The conference projects Vermont will add 2,500 jobs in 2013. Government jobs will be sparse, but professional and business services will lead that force.

"That sector grew well in 2012 and again in 2013. That's the best story in the Vermont economy; what's happening to that sector," Heaps said.

And we can't forget about the graying of our state. Economists say this will be a problem yet again in the years ahead.

"In Vermont we have a demographic problem; our labor force is shrinking, so when businesses picks up there are not people to hire. And as a result, we won't see that gain in employment and spending that occurs with that," Heaps explained.

Experts say Vermont's current unemployment rate of 5.3 percent is expected to fall to 5 percent by the end of 2013, entering a long-term decline.

According to economists, Vermont will also see a slight gain when it comes to income in 2013.

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