Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > More Vermonters Have Jobs, but Income Inequality Persists

More Vermonters Have Jobs, but Income Inequality Persists

F1-MJB057In what may be an encouraging trend, March data released today show that the number of working Vermonters, including those who are self-employed, increased for the sixth consecutive month. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent, a low not seen since 2005. At the same time, Vermont private sector employers reported 800 new non-farm T1-MJB057payroll jobs, seasonally adjusted.



F2-MJB057Shorter unemployment lines
During the worst of the recession, Vermonters filed initial claims for unemployment compensation at a rate of nearly 5,500 a month. February 2009 was an average month. Since then, new claims have been dropping steadily. Initial filings for February 2014 were down to about 3,100—slightly fewer than before the recession.



F3-MJB057A rebound for the 1 percent
For 50 years following the Great Depression, the share of total personal income going to the top 1 percent declined; the gap narrowed between the rich and everyone else. In 1981, however, the gap began to widen. By 2006 the top 1 percent of Vermont taxpayers received more than 20 percent of the income—a half-century’s gains in reducing inequality wiped away. That share dropped during the recession, but in 2011—the most recent available data—it rose again.

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