Vermont Jobs: More is Still Not Enough
Vermont added 1,400 seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs in August, according to data released by the Vermont Department of Labor today. At the same time the state’s unemployment rate ticked up for the fourth month in a row, to 5.9 percent in August from 5.7 percent in July. “While Vermont is continuing to show job growth, it doesn’t appear to be enough to push down unemployment,” says economist Jeffrey Thompson of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts.
Help Needed to Fill the Fridge
Officially, the recession ended more than two years ago. But Vermonters still struggle to put food on the table. Before the start of the recession, about 52,000 Vermonters received food stamps each month through 3SquaresVT. During fiscal 2011, which ended in June, food stamp recipients averaged about 90,000 a month. Since the official end of the recession, with thousands of Vermonters still out of work, demand for food stamps has increased 36 percent.
Multiple Jobs = One Livelihood
For at least 10 years, Vermont has led the New England states in the percentage of workers with more than one job, which might explain the state’s relatively low unemployment rate. The number of Vermonters with multiple jobs declined during the recession, from 32,000 in 2007 to 27,000 in 2009. If those 5,000 people had become unemployed instead of going to just one job, Vermont’s 2009 unemployment rate would have been 8.3 percent, not 6.9 percent—and much closer to the national average.
Download the Jobs Brief in PDF to read more.