Cost and shortage of childcare hinder employment

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copyright the Chronicle December 14, 2016

by Tena Starr

 

For as long as memory serves, the lack of jobs in the Northeast Kingdom, generally touted as the most economically depressed area of the state, has been considered the big hindrance to prosperity.

But by most measures, the Northeast Kingdom currently has more jobs than workers willing, or able, to fill them. Unemployment in the Derby labor market area for October was at 3.7 percent, which is generally considered full employment. In this sparsely populated labor market, that means only about 500 people are considered to be unemployed.

Nonetheless, few question the fact that people who could work, and would work, are hindered by what state officials and others consider barriers to unemployment.

“I believe people want to work,” said Neil Morrissette at Creative Work Solutions. “It’s those barriers.”

And childcare is a big one, he said.

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The NEK’s got jobs — a lot of them

Featured

copyright the Chronicle November 30, 2016

by Tena Starr

Neil Morrissette of Creative Work Solutions is an unabashed cheerleader for the Northeast Kingdom. It has everything, he said in a recent interview.

Including jobs. A lot of jobs. In fact, some employers are near desperate for workers, Mr. Morrissette said.

“There’s so much work out there.”

The economic picture he paints is far from the traditional one, which is that the Northeast Kingdom — generally called the most economically depressed part of the state — is one tough place to get a job.

But Mr. Morrissette’s assessment is backed up by a low unemployment rate in the Derby labor market area. The area’s October rate was the second highest in Vermont, but at 3.7 percent it’s very low nationally and can’t be considered high anywhere.

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