Economist: Steady job recovery in Vermont - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Economist: Steady job recovery in Vermont

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -

"I thought I had something secure," Justin Eaton said.

Eaton knows what it's like to lose a job. He was laid off from two different companies during the downturn in the economy.

"You don't think about what you're going to eat the next day. You think about how am I going to keep my family afloat," he said.

Eaton has a young son and a wife.

Two years ago, things started to turn around for him. He got hired on at the Vermont Hard Cider Company, which makes Woodchuck Hard Cider. Eaton is one of dozens of new employees who have been hired.

"We've gone from a company of about 40 people pre-2008 to a company, including our sales staff, of about 160 people," said Nate Formalarie of Woodchuck Hard Cider.

Those new jobs are some of the 10,000 that Vermont has recovered after the Great Recession.

"It's not just Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Ben and Jerry's and Cabot Cooperative anymore, we've got a lot of craft brewers that are involved and growing well. We've got a lot of specialty food manufacturers that are growing out of some of these entrepreneurs' centers and things of that nature," said Jeff Car, the Vermont state economist.

Carr says 90 percent of the jobs lost in the Great Recession have been recovered in Vermont. The professional business sector is the strongest performer right now.

"There are some really sound professional business sectors that are exporting their business provisions to customers all over the country, whether it be Dealer.com or those types of people or whether it's a small little economic consulting firm in Williston," Carr said.

Just like nationally, education and health care are also adding jobs in Vermont according to Carr. Back in the cellar at Vermont Hard Cider, Eaton is looking forward to a promotion that came, in part, because of the company's expansion.

"For me the whole purpose was to find a place that I could grow, find a job that I could move up in and make something of myself," he said.

For himself and his family.

Vermont has also added construction jobs, but Carr says not as quickly as other states. He says the recovery from Tropical Storm Irene helped boost those jobs.

Carr says winter weather is an important factor in our economy doing well. He says the more snow the better for the ski industry, especially heading toward President's Day week, which he says is the most important week of the tourism season.

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