Each year, the end of the legislative session coincides with warmer weather, signaling peak tourism season just around the corner. For many Vermont businesses, however, this will be the third summer in a row that they are overwhelmed with uncertainty instead of anticipation. While elected officials resumed in-person operations at the State House, the Vermont business community is still working to determine their “new normal.”
The foundation of the Vermont Chamber advocacy this session was the stark reality that Vermont has an estimated 26,000 job openings and an unemployment rate of 2.5%. With 25,500 fewer people participating in the workforce than pre-pandemic, employers are going to unprecedented lengths to retain employees and recruit new workers.
While businesses continued to battle the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, including a constrained labor force, increased payroll expenses, reduced hours, 8.3% inflation, and endless supply chain problems, progress was made on many policy fronts due to the support from legislators who listened to our members and our dedicated five-person Vermont Chamber advocacy team.
The Vermont Chamber succeeded on most of our 2022 legislative session agenda items, including retaining Vermont workers, helping businesses emerge from the pandemic, increasing workforce housing supply, and recruiting new workers to Vermont.