Jobs increase, but educational and digital divides persist
Unemployment rates in New England are mostly lower than in the U.S. as a whole. But job growth in the region is mixed. This year through September, Vermont saw a 1.2 percent increase in private sector jobs—the same as the national average. Massachusetts and New Hampshire have been adding jobs faster than the U.S. And the remaining New England states have lagged behind the national rate.
Poverty and schooling
Education plays a big role in the likelihood of being poor. While all educational groups saw a drop in the poverty rate from 2014, Vermonters who did not graduate from high school were more than twice as likely to live in poverty in 2015 as those with a diploma. And those who did not go on to college saw higher rates than those who finished some college. Of Vermonters with college degrees, only 3.8 percent lived in poverty.
Income and Internet
Vermont has an ambitious goal to provide high-speed broadband Internet service everywhere in the state by 2024. But to get people online, access also needs to be affordable. New Census data show that nearly half of low-income households in Vermont do not have an Internet service provider. In households with annual incomes between $20,000 and $75,000, one quarter have no service. Fewer than 1 percent of Vermont households have dial-up service only.