Public Assets Institute releases State of Working Vermont 2014
MONTPELIER—Vermont’s economy grew faster than most of the other New England states in recent years, but the gains have not reached many working Vermont families. Since the recession officially ended in 2009, there have been positive signs of recovery. At the same time, according to Public Assets Institute’s State of Working Vermont 2014, many Vermonters lost ground.
The chartbook, released today, provides a snapshot of indicators that reflect on the well-being of average Vermonters, especially those with low and moderate incomes. The report shows that poverty and homelessness continued to rise as incomes fell, in spite of Vermont’s low unemployment rate, increase in worker productivity, and relatively strong growth in gross state product.
“The good news is that four years after the official end of the recession, we are beginning to see real signs of recovery,” said Public Assets President Paul Cillo. “Unfortunately, when we look at how working Vermont families are faring, things are still moving in the wrong direction.”
Cillo urged members of the Vermont Legislature to review the report as they prepared to convene in Montpelier next week. “Once again, the Legislature is heading into a new session facing a big budget gap, and much of the focus is on where to cut in order to balance the budget,” Cillo said. “But in addition to being balanced, the budget also needs to address the basic needs of Vermonters. That means addressing poverty, homelessness, and hunger, which our report shows are on the rise. It also means ensuring that all Vermonters have affordable health care, equal opportunity to get a good education, and meaningful work at a livable wage.”
Public Assets produces The State of Working Vermont each year in partnership with the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington, D.C. Based on data released by the U.S. Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other state and federal agencies during 2014, it uses easy-to-understand graphics to highlight how working Vermonters and their families were faring economically at the end of 2013, the last year for which complete data are available.
State of Working Vermont 2014 can be viewed at http://publicassets.org/?p=9991
Public Assets Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sound state budget and tax policies that benefit all Vermonters. More information at www.publicassets.org
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