Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Little progress for workers now—and not much ahead

Little progress for workers now—and not much ahead

F1-MJB064The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in October. Vermont has the second-lowest rate in New England, but lags when it comes to increasing employment. So far this year, the southern New England states have seen at least 3 percent growth in the number of people employed. In Vermont, that number is up less than 0.05 percent, and employment has shrunk in Maine.T1-MJB064




Slow net gainsF2-MJB064
Vermont’s private sector creates tens of thousands of jobs each year, and tens of thousands are lost as businesses shrink or close. In the recession, the state lost many more jobs than it created. Job growth turned positive in 2011, and 2012 saw still bigger gains. But for the last two years, net job growth has slowed again.

Worse wages expected
Most jobs projected to be in high demand in the future are in occupations that currently pay less than the average annual wage, $44,060. The Vermont Department of Labor has identified nearly 290 occupations likely to have a higher-than-average growth rate or number of openings between 2012F3-MJB064 and 2022. But of these estimated 30,000 new jobs, 70 percent are in today’s lower-paying occupations. Perhaps as demand grows, wages will rise with it.

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