Vermont to lose 3.4 percent of manufacturing jobs due to federal climate regs

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Vermont will lose 3.4 percent of its manufacturing jobs by 2023 due to Obama administration climate regulations, according to a report on the impact of EPA rules on labor.

In recent years, the EPA has issued new rules for power plants and vehicles in an attempt to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Heritage Foundation graphic

While many studies examine how the rules will affect global emissions, a study published last week by The Heritage Foundation calculates how many manufacturing jobs states will lose due to environmental regulations.

According to the report, the U.S. will surrender 586,000 manufacturing jobs by 2023 due to increased regulatory cost burdens on businesses. Of those job losses, an estimated 1,378 will come from Vermont.

While 34 states will lose between 3 percent to 4 percent of manufacturing jobs, nine states — including one New England state — will experience even higher job losses.

Among New England states, setbacks for workers will range from 2,260 losses in Rhode Island to 3,452 losses in New Hampshire.

Watchdog graphic

Moreover, the report claims the climate regulations will drive up energy costs and wipe out $2.5 trillion in aggregate gross domestic product nationwide while having only “a negligible positive impact on the climate and environment.”

In explaining the impact on business, the authors note that policy “incentivizes businesses and consumers to change production processes, technologies and behavior in a manner comparable to the administration’s regulatory scheme.”

A loss of manufacturing jobs is bad news for Vermont’s labor force, which shrunk during the recession and has not bounced back.

Graphic courtesy of George Malek

DEAD CAT BOUNCE: The orange line in this graph from the Dept. of Labor shows that jobs are on the decline again in Vermont.

As shown in the graphic to the left, seasonally adjusted employment in Vermont was 344,500 at the end of 2006.

In 2009, however, a flood of layoffs cut that number to 333,450.

Since that low point, jobs have bounced back only slightly. The most recent jobs report from the Vermont Department of Labor shows the number of employed workers now stands at 337,300.

A loss of an additional 1,378 manufacturing jobs due to federal CO2 regulations is bad news for Vermonters.

In most cases, the loss of manufacturing jobs due to climate regulations will hit the private sector of Vermont’s economy, as opposed to government and farm sectors.

Annual employment numbers since the start of the recession until now — both for the private and government sectors — are indicated in the table below.

As seen from the data, employment within Vermont’s private sector took a hit in 2009 but has since climbed back to even with 2007 numbers. Employment within the government jobs sector remained steady but flat over the same period.

Watchdog graphic