Vermont made progress this year making the kinds of investments that can move the state forward and create an economy that works for everyone. The 2017 Report Card is based on a set of policy recommendations published last year called “A Framework for Progress: Investing in Vermont’s people, infrastructure, and good government.”

To continue to advance these issues, we compiled this short report card assessing the progress made on each of the recommendations during the 2017 legislative session.

In August the number of Vermonters officially unemployed dropped to its lowest level in more than 16 years: 10,445, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s the first time since March 2001 that the number has dipped below 10,500. Only people who are jobless and actively seeking work are counted as “unemployed.” Low unemployment means a shortage of workers, which should push up wages.

Poverty up In the latest Census data, released this week, Vermont was the only state to show an increase in poverty. The number of Vermonters in poverty last year rose by 10,000, to just over 71,000. In 2015, poverty fell by almost 12,000, a sharp drop that does not fit Vermont’s pattern of recent years. Since before the start of the recession nearly 10 years ago, the state’s poverty rate has trended upward.

Vermont made headlines last week when the U.S. Census released its latest statistics for 2016: We were the only state to show an increase in the poverty rate. That may have been an artifact of the Census survey sample. The poverty rate showed an unusual drop in 2015, and 2016 looks more like a return to normal than a real increase. The Census released another poverty report week week that didn’t get as much attention. The Supplemental Poverty Measure report tells a different story and the data contain more encouraging news: public services and assistance do lift people out of poverty. Read more


Poverty-fighting programs work
September 22, 2017
A better outlook for jobseekers, but not for the poor
September 15, 2017
2017 Report Card
September 12, 2017



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