Figures announced earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Labor showed that the Burlington-South Burlington market has the lowest unemployment in New England. The rate as of March 2010 is 6 percent, down from 6.9 percent a year ago. This announcement followed on the heels last week of the announcement by Dealer.com that they will be staying, and expanding, in Burlington – adding 300 jobs in the next 3 years.
The news about Burlington’s job market should not come as a surprise. We’ve done a lot over the last 20 years and last 4 years to build an environment and infrastructure which leads businesses and people to choose Burlington. Effective and efficient government, municipal and community commitment to livability, equity, and the environment, waterfront and downtown revitalization, and paying attention to the basics – good streets and sidewalks, reliable and competitive electric and water utilities, and a fiber to the home broadband system – are all critical to creating, retaining, and growing jobs.
The other part of this story is Burlington’s continued effort to redevelop and revitalize appropriate areas of the City. Burlington’s South End has evolved over the years to become a diverse and vibrant area with a broad range and type of businesses. There continues to be great potential in the South End for business and community development. This potential will only be enhanced as the City looks to move forward on the Champlain Parkway road project – which will improve neighborhood traffic and safety issues, provide for new pedestrian and bicycle amenities, and open up areas of the Pine Street business corridor for economic development. Because we’ve put the work into it and, by and large, made good choices as a City and a community – Burlington will continue to lead the way by modeling appropriate economic development and job creation for Vermont, New England and beyond.