Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced two positive economic indicators:
Vermont's unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent for the first time since 2008; and the state leads the nation in per capita "Green Jobs," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for February was 4.9 percent, a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the revised January rate, and well below the national rate of 8.3 percent, which held steady from the previous month. Vermont's unemployment rate ranks 4th best in the nation, with job growth seen in many employment sectors.
In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked the state No. 1 for providing "green goods and services" jobs, with 4.4 percent of jobs meeting that environmental criteria.
"Job creation and economic growth has been my top priority since taking office," Gov. Shumlin said. "Our commitment to a clean environment and getting Vermonters back to work is working."
Labor Statistics found that just under 13,000 Vermonters are employed in the green sector, jobs embedded throughout industries -- natural resources, utilities, construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and more.
"This is a clear indication that our state's commitment to Vermont's environment is not only good for the landscape and our quality of life, but for our economy," the Governor said. He stressed that his proposals and policies continue to reflect that focus, noting Vermont's aggressive renewable energy plan as just one significant example.