Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Jobs inch up and low-income parents get a boost

Jobs inch up and low-income parents get a boost

Vermont lost 2,200 jobs in July, although it still had 5,000 more jobs than before the recession. The average number of nonfarm payroll jobs in 2017 was 1.8 percent higher than in 2007, the previous peak, and only 4 percent higher than the peak before the 2001 recession. Vermont’s pace of recovery has been slower than the nation’s as a whole since the start of the century and slower than recoveries in the 1980s and 1990s.




Tax break
Some parents with low-wage jobs could get as much as $250 more in tax savings, thanks to changes in Vermont’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The tax credits vary according to income and family size, with families earning from about $14,000 to $25,000 qualifying for the largest credits. Vermont had been offering a state tax credit equal to 32 percent of the federal EITC. This year, on the governor’s recommendation, the Legislature raised the state credit to 36 percent of the federal amount.


Affordability gap
Vermont has the second-biggest gap between prices and wages in New England, and wages appear to be the culprit. Vermont prices are not out of line, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis—they’re just 1.6 percent above the U.S. average. Pay in Vermont is comparatively low, however, with the state’s average annual wage at only 82.5 percent of the national average, making Vermont’s wage the second lowest in New England.

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