Gov. Peter Shumlin Thursday joined officials from the Vermont Department of Labor to highlight a new survey focused on how young people perceive the state's job market.
The survey polled 2015 graduates and incoming seniors of St. Michael's College.
It found that almost 40 percent of students who left Vermont or plan to leave after graduation cited a “reported lack of job availability" as one of their reasons for leaving.
Shumlin says that perception is incorrect.
"Politicians love to say 'Vermont's a terrible place to do business. We have no jobs, and our young people are leaving.' Our young people believe that," said Shumlin. "Listen, the facts just don't match the rhetoric. We've got the lowest unemployment rate this side of the Mississippi. Employer after employer will tell you 'Find us more workers.'"
Shumlin says that the same employers who laid off workers or stopped expanding during the recession are now experiencing growth, particularly in Chittenden County.
"When I became governor we were coming out of the recession," said Shumlin. "Employer after employer was saying to me, 'We're going to do a layoff, we are doing a layoff, we're shrinking not growing.' Now they're saying, 'We're growing. We're expanding. We need more trained workers, please governor help us find them.' That is a sea change that Vermonters need to recognize as an opportunity for us, not bad news."