Vt. economy making slow, steady progress - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. economy making slow, steady progress

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After the worst recession the United States has seen in decades, Vermont is making progress.

"We've had a sawtooth pattern in the labor market recovery in Vermont which very soon we will recover all the jobs we lost in the very difficult last recession," said Jeff Carr, the Vermont economist and a member of the New England Economic Partnership.

Carr says that of the six New England states, Vermont's recovery is only behind Massachusetts, which restored all of its jobs lost. The Green Mountain's highest performance rates are found in the trade, transportation, utilities and government sectors. The construction sector is ranked one of the lowest. Projects after Tropical Storm Irene are now complete, causing projections of construction jobs to be down. Pre-recession employment levels are expected to return in the next 6-12 months.

"Those jobs will be different. Some of the jobs that were lost are not going to come back," Carr said.

The recession in Europe is damaging the export market and federal spending cuts-- known as sequestration-- are hurting New England's economy.

"What it will do, it will postpone more typical rates in the labor market and typical rates in our output going forward," Carr explained.

Economists say successful product differentiation associated with the Vermont brand is helping stage a comeback for the manufacturing sector.

According to the report, Rhode Island is the only state in New England that's not expected to get back to prerecession employment levels before 2016.

Click here to see the full NEEP forecasts for Vermont and other New England states.

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