State of Working Vermont 2017 documents the reality confronting average Vermonters: while the economy grows, their paychecks do not.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Wages and incomes are growing fastest for those who already are doing well.
  • After accounting for inflation, for most of the last decade the median Vermont household has lived on less than it did in 2006.
  • Poverty is increasing, and it is highest among Vermonters of color.
  • While nearly all Vermonters have health insurance, housing has grown less affordable and child care less accessible.

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. Thank you for having me here today. My name is Stephanie Yu.  I’m a policy analyst with Public Assets Institute here in Montpelier.  We’re a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy think tank that was established in 2003. For those of you who don’t know about Public Assets Institute, we analyze Vermont fiscal policy—tax, budget, and economic policy— with the typical Vermonter in mind.  We gather the facts, usually from state or federal data bases, and explain what they mean in a way that people can understand quickly. Read more
“The vast majority of the most rigorous modern research on the impact of higher minimum wages—including robust increases to $13 or more—shows that these policies boost worker earnings with little to no adverse impact on employment.” Testimony to the Minimum Wage Study Committee from Yannet Lathrop of the National Employment Law Project on November 21, 2017. In other words, there is no credible evidence that minimum wage increases cause significant job loss.

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