Vermont Needs a New Migration Story

The NYT published data last month on domestic migration from large cities to smaller cities during the pandemic. The national trend is due in part to the ability of high-income earners to work remotely. Here in Vermont, there’s a perception that we’ve had a lot of migration to the state and are experiencing this.

However, when you look at the data it shows a different picture:

We need a new story for Vermont, one that encourages people to live and work here. The Vermont Chamber has been advocating for a publicly funded effort to elevate our achievements and attract more workers. Initiatives like the Declaration of Inclusion, along with wage growth, housing subsidies, innovative education and training programs, childcare assistance, climate change regulations, and broadband investments make Vermont an excellent place to move to. The problem is that people don’t know Vermont is an awesome place to live and work unless we tell them about it.

While elected officials support these initiatives, there is little support in the State House to develop and fund an outreach plan. Yes, we have work to do on the housing shortage, but we can, and we must, do more than one thing at a time.