“At Lake Champlain Chocolates, the owners take shifts stacking boxes in the warehouse. At Burlington Bagel Bakery, a sign in the window advertises wages starting at $25 an hour. Central Vermont Medical Center is training administrative employees to become nurses. Cabot Creamery is bringing workers from out of state to package its signature blocks of Cheddar cheese.” Welcome to Vermont, where hiring is tough. What gives? “The root of the staffing challenge is simple: Vermont’s population is rapidly aging. More than a fifth of Vermonters are 65 or older, and more than 35 percent are over 54, the age at which Americans typically begin to exit the work force. No state has a smaller share of its residents in their prime working years.” Why does this matter to anyone outside of Vermont (other than those expecting a package of cheese in the mail)? Because Vermont could serve as a preview for the rest of America. Baby boomers are aging out of the workforce. Immigration is increasingly out of fashion. And we’re all getting old. Don’t like it? Tough cheddar. NYT (Gift Article): Vermont May Be the Face of a Long-Term U.S. Labor Shortage. What seems like a mild story now might become quite sharp as time passes.

+ Another indicator of where we’re headed: The occupation expected to see the most hiring growth over the next decade is home health aides.