Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > For Vermont job-seekers 2015 is off to a promising start

For Vermont job-seekers 2015 is off to a promising start

F1-MJB069More than 1,200 Vermonters left the unemployment lines so far this year, but they didn’t all go back to work. In the first three months of 2015, employment—including self-employment—rose by 687, to 335,006. Meanwhile, the labor force—people working or seeking work—shrank by 577. During the same period, Vermont employers reported adding 1,900 non-farm payroll jobs.T1-MJB069




F2-MJB069The legacy of two recessions
In the first decade of this century, two recessions wiped out many more jobs than Vermont’s private sector could create. For the last few years, Vermont has seen more gains than losses. But despite state and federal tax breaks intended to stimulate employment, private employers are still not matching the job growth of the 1990s.

State-subsidized wages
More than half of the state and federal funds Vermont spent on public assistance programs went to working families, effectively subsidizing low-wage employers. A new report by the University of California BerkeleyF3-MJB069
Labor Center shows that Vermont spent $372 million a year* on programs including food stamps, Medicaid, Reach Up, and the earned income tax credit (EITC) to help working families which totaled more than 150,000 adults and children.

* Amounts in the report are based on 2009-11 U.S. Census data adjusted to 2013 dollars.

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