Vermont’s economy began to grow again after the recession, but has since cooled off. Even before the recession, real economic growth was slow. And figures released in December 2015 show that Vermont’s gross state product—the value of goods and services produced in the state—was essentially the same in 2014 as it was in 2011, after adjusting for inflation.
A college degree can be the ticket to more job options and higher pay. And a well-educated workforce is critical to strong communities and a growing economy.
But as a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows, Vermont is one of only three states that has cut per-student public spending on higher education in each of the last two years, even as tuition at public colleges increases. Adjusted for inflation, almost all states—45 of 50—are spending less per student on higher education than they were before the recession in 2008. Read more
Wages should rise when labor is scarce. But despite Vermont’s enviably low unemployment rate and reduced labor force, pay has stagnated since the recession officially ended in 2009. According to the latest wage data from the Vermont Department of Labor, hourly pay at all levels, after adjusting for inflation, has been essentially flat for the last six years.
Only two Vermont counties—Chittenden and Franklin, both in the northwest—saw their labor forces grow from 2007 to 2015. Chittenden was up nearly 8 percent, Franklin 5.5 percent. Read more