Vermont’s employment picture was essentially unchanged from March to April. The unemployment rate, labor force, and non-farm jobs all ticked down, but only slightly. Comparing this April to the same month in previous years, the recent trend shows a steady decline in the number of Vermonters who report having jobs, even while the unemployment rate was dropping. Last month’s employment was the lowest for April since 2009, in the depths of the recession.
A brief and solitary trip
To catch up on highway maintenance, Vermonters will pay about 6 cents more for a gallon of gas in the coming year. Read more
Expanding access to quality child care has been the hot-button issue of the 2013 legislative session, and nearly all the fuss has swirled around the source of funding. Gov. Peter Shumlin wants to pay for more child care by taking money from low-wage working families that receive the state Earned Income Tax Credit. So far, the Legislature has rejected that idea. But many Vermonters, especially those who aren’t familiar with the state’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP), may wonder why funding for child-care services needs expanding at all.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a proven and effective tool for helping low- and moderate-income families make ends meet and for reducing poverty, particularly among children. In 2011, the Vermont EITC let about 45,000 working households keep more of what they earned. These households included more than 100,000 individuals, about half of them children.
Claiming that Vermont’s EITC is too generous, Gov. Peter Shumlin proposed cutting the $26 million tax expenditure (see table below) by about two-thirds. But his claim is simply untrue. Combined with the federal credit, what working Vermonters receive in EITC is just average. Read more