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United States of America (USA) - Vermont

Vermont is one of the New England states in the north-east part of the country. It has no coastline but the scenery is impressive as the area takes in Lake Champlain and a mountain range. The state shares borders with Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York, as well as Quebec to the north. The state capital is Montpelier, although Burlington is the largest city. Both of these are fairly small cities when compared to those in other states. The population of the state is just over 600,000 people.

The climate of Vermont is a humid continental climate. The summers are warm and the winters are cold, with heavy snowfalls very common throughout the winter months along with heavy storms.

The area is popular with expats who are looking for a quieter life. The main cities here are smaller than you would expect and do not experience the same crowded feel that you get in other places. The low unemployment rates and the affordable housing are other important factors.

Vermont – Employment

Vermont has suffered economically in recent years but the state still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Some of the biggest employers in the state are the local government, healthcare sectors, retailers, construction and agriculture. There have been many new businesses developed over the last few years, although numbers of new ventures are lower than they have been in the past.

Agriculture has been one of the main contributors to the state’s economy, mainly in dairy farming. The Vermont government has had to fight to prevent property developers from taking over farmland in order to protect the dairy industry, but there are few opportunities for expats in this field unless they wish to start their own farm. The industry is still in decline but the decline is slowing. Organic crop farms are also becoming more common in the region. Companies that produce ‘Vermont Specialities’ in the food industry are growing as these are linked to the tourism industry and the brands that they produce are big sellers. There are opportunities for those who want to start their own business and have an original brand idea along these lines.

The manufacturing industry is also a big employer, with firms such as IBM having a presence in the state. They contribute billions to the state’s economy and employ thousands of people, so IT professionals may find that there are positions available for skilled workers.

The healthcare sector is expected to grow significantly in Vermont in the coming years and as there is a nationwide shortage of medical professionals, those from other country with medical qualifications will be in demand. Nurses and doctors will need to take local exams in order to obtain a licence to practice but for properly skilled staff this should not be a problem.

Vermont – Housing

Vermont has always been considered to be one of the most affordable states in the country in which to purchase property. The recent economic downturn did not affect Vermont the same way it affected other states, mainly due to the fact that house prices had not had the dramatic rises there that had been seen in other states. Vermont also has one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the country, meaning that the market has not been flooded with cut price properties that have not been cared for. House sales have dropped in the state, but it is just a reflection of the stagnant housing market rather than the economic problems.

Vermont has been noted for the construction of homes which are energy efficient and many new homes are designed this way and these include single family homes and apartments. There are still some construction projects taking place on homes which are less energy efficient and there are new build condo projects in the main town which provide affordable housing.

Renting is another option for expats moving to Vermont. There is high demand for rental properties, and very few are left empty for any length of time. Rental costs are reasonable and many properties are let unfurnished, although it is possible to find furnished homes. Rentals are available in both Montpelier and Burlington, but are more difficult to find in smaller towns.

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