Labor Commissioner says layoffs don’t tell full story

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(Host)Vermont’s commissioner of labor says layoffs in some pockets of Vermont don’t tell the whole story about the state’s economy.  Patricia Moulton Powden says layoffs like the ones this summer at IBM, or the back-to back plant closures in Brandon are serious. But they’re not as numerous as in 2001 or other recessions the state has seen.

(Powden) "We clearly are very concerned about the employees and workers who are affected by the layoffs, and it ripples through the economy clearly. When people lose their jobs they lose spending capability and that has an impact."

(Host) But Powden says while some areas have seen layoffs, employers elsewhere are looking for workers with skills that match the jobs that are growing in the state.  

(Powden) "I think what’s happening to Vermont is we’re maybe catching up to where the rest of the nation has been in the last year or so. And we’re seeing some actual decline in new jobs, which is new to Vermont.  I’m not an economist… but they all speak to seeing continued economic slowdown for much of 2009 and I think we’ll probably see that too."   

(Host) The latest labor statistics are due out this Friday.


AP Photo/Toby Talbot

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