Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > For Vermont workers and families, geography matters

For Vermont workers and families, geography matters

Employment grew in April for the fourth straight month, adding more than 1,000 people to the ranks of working Vermonters. But from 2012 to 2017 the total number of people employed in the state shrank by nearly 3,000, or about one percent. The losses have not been evenly distributed. Only four counties—Addison, Chittenden, Lamoille, and Washington—saw employment gains, which totaled more than 2,000 over the five-year period.





Food stamp needs
In March one in nine Vermonters relied on 3SquaresVT, the state’s food stamp program.1 While that number is down from the height of the recession, more than 70,000 Vermonters still need help getting enough to eat. And where they live makes a difference: Residents of the Northeast Kingdom were twice as likely to need assistance as residents of Chittenden and Addison counties. Reliance on 3SquaresVT in Southern Vermont was also higher than the statewide average.


Child care costs
Challenges in the child care market differ by geography as well. The maximum state payment through the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) for a preschool-age child was $173.53 a week in 2017. Subsidies are linked to rated quality, with higher amounts going to higher-quality providers. But even the maximum payment would cover the average cost for full-time care for a preschool-age child in only one county, Caledonia. The maximum payment is also lower than the federally recommended level for state child care subsidies.

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  1. 3SquaresVT is Vermont’s name for its federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). []