Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > A Little Holiday Cheer in Vermont’s Employment Numbers

A Little Holiday Cheer in Vermont’s Employment Numbers

After rising since the spring, Vermont’s jobless rate dropped in November, to 5.2 percent from 5.5 percent the previous month. More Vermonters were working in November, and Vermont’s private employers added 2,400 non-farm jobs, seasonally adjusted. According to the monthly survey of Vermont households, 18,764 people were unemployed and actively looking for work in November—a drop of about 800 since October. The unemployment figure does not include jobless people who are no longer seeking work.


State to jobless: $570 million
Vermont’s unemployment insurance trust fund paid more than $570 million to Vermonters thrown out of work during the Great Recession. This unemployment compensation was covered by payments from Vermont employers and did not include the extended benefits provided through various federal emergency programs. Vermont had to borrow from the feds to cover some of the trust fund payments. At the end of 2011 the state owed almost $78 million; it has since paid back about $20 million.


A raise for low-wage workers
New Year’s Day brings an increase to Vermont’s minimum wage. Next month, the rate will rise 14 cents, to $8.60 an hour. Vermont is now one of 10 states—up from eight a year ago—that make an annual adjustment to the minimum wage to help keep up with inflation. The increase doesn’t benefit only minimum wage workers, though. A new analysis shows it will boost the state’s economy by $1.4 million.

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