Vermont saw the second-biggest jump in unemployment among the states in August—to 4.1 percent from 3.7 percent in July. Longer unemployment lines aren’t necessarily a bad sign, if they mean more people are returning to the labor force and looking for work. But the number in Vermont’s labor force fell in August, as did the number of Vermonters who were working.
U.S. Census data released this week show Vermonters continued to lose ground after the official end of the Great Recession in 2009. Median annual household income, after adjusting for inflation, fell just over 6 percent between 2009 and 2013. Read more
Vermont’s education funding system ensures that all students, regardless of the wealth of their communities, have equal access to money to support their education. The state could simply allocate the same amount of money for every student. But Vermont has a long tradition of local control, which would disappear if spending decisions were dictated from Montpelier. To balance equal access to resources with local control, the system creates a level playing field for all communities to raise money for education, but local voters have the final say about how much they spend. Read more
By JACK HOFFMAN, VtDigger, October 17, 2014
Jon Margolis did a nice job of popping some campaign balloons earlier this week with his column about the Vermont economy. Popping campaign balloons, after all, is both the job and the fun of being a political columnist. He set the record straight and drew a few laughs by letting everyone in on the little secret that Vermont’s economy is influenced much more heavily by the national economy than by political leaders in Montpelier, even the one in the governor’s office. Read more