Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Jobs Return, With Inequality in Tow

Jobs Return, With Inequality in Tow


The number of non-farm payroll jobs in Vermont is inching back to pre-recession levels. But the mix has changed in the last seven years. The latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show service sector jobs have grown, while goods-producing jobs have decreased. New data also show that the number of unemployed Vermonters grew in June. It’s not known yet whether the rise is a result of new layoffs or people returning to the labor force to seek work.






F2-MJB060Five years, no raise for most
From the early days of the recession in 2008 to 2013, wages for most Vermonters barely kept up with inflation—or fell. During the same period, prices for heating oil, gasoline, and food rose faster than the overall rate of inflation. High wage earners—those at the 80th or 90th percentile—saw their inflation-adjusted wages grow more than 7 percent from 2008 to 2013. Eighty percent of workers earn less than the 80th percentile wage and 20 percent earn more.



F3-MJB060More schooling = better odds
Vermont has an enviable unemployment rate, but not for all groups of workers. The annual jobless rate overall was 4.4 percent in 2013. For workers 16 to 24, it was nearly 11 percent. Among Vermont workers without a high school diploma, 12 percent looked for a job without success. Meanwhile, Vermonters with a bachelor’s degree or higher enjoyed an unemployment rate of half the state average.


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