It’s understandable. The Fight for 15 has a certain alliterative ring to it. But ultimately, the number itself matters less than the timing.

The debate about raising the minimum wage in Vermont has clearly been influenced by the national push for a $15 an hour minimum wage and actions taken in other states. But when will Vermont get to $15? That is the critical question in this discussion.

The current $10 minimum wage is slated to go to $10.50 next year and grow with inflation after that. It would reach $15 by about 2034.

Since July, the Minimum Wage Study Committee has spent a lot of time discussing the possible effects of raising the minimum wage.

Their time might be better spent discussing the effects of not raising it.

With an additional 600 new jobs in September, Vermont’s private employers have added 2,700 jobs so far this year. While the growth has been uneven, 2017 has seen the strongest first three quarters since 2011. Also in September, Vermont’s unemployment rate ticked down to 2.9 percent, the lowest level since December 2000.

Lonely commuters The latest U.S. Census data show that most Vermonters drive to work by themselves. In 2016 three-quarters of Vermonters were solo commuters. Just 8 percent rode with others in a carpool. The share of lone drivers was about the same as the national average and has been fairly constant for the last 10 years. Carpooling has dropped off, however. In 2006, 11 percent of Vermonters shared the ride to work.


Job growth in 2017: So far so good
October 20, 2017
Timing is everything
October 10, 2017
The cost of inaction
October 3, 2017



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