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Green jobs could put green in Vermonters’ pockets

The young Vermonters at the September 20 Climate Strike might soon be joining the state’s green jobs market. About 18,900 people now work in jobs related to clean energy, according to the 2019 Vermont Clean Energy Industry Report from the Department of Public Service. That’s an increase of about 28 percent since 2013. And while job growth has slowed, the time devoted to clean-energy work has increased, according to the report. Meanwhile, the Vermont Department of Labor announced Friday that the total number of nonfarm payroll jobs in the state fell by 600 in August.





Better wages
Adding more green jobs could help the economy as well as the planet. According to current job growth projections, most of the 10,500 new jobs expected between 2016 and 2026 will come in occupations at the low and high ends of the wage scale. The bottom 20 percent of jobs, which will account for 33 percent of projected growth, paid an average of $12.54 an hour in 2018. Most midlevel jobs in renewable energy or energy efficiency pay wages in the top 20 or 40 percent.




Fewer uninsured
While the percentage of U.S. residents lacking health insurance rose last year, Vermont and the rest of New England bucked the trend, according to new Census data. The rates of uninsured residents dropped in five of the six states, while Massachusetts held steady at 2.8 percent, the lowest rate. Vermont was second best, with 4 percent uninsured. Maine, which declined to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, left 8 percent of its residents without coverage.


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