Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > For Vermonters, It’s Still Cold Outside

For Vermonters, It’s Still Cold Outside

In spite of a slight rise in manufacturing jobs last year, Vermont lost more than 28 percent of the jobs in this sector in the past decade. One reason: competition from abroad. According to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest international survey of manufacturing wages, Vermont’s average manufacturing wage was lower than much of Europe’s in 2010, but more than twice as high as in some low-wage countries. Wages for China were not included in this survey.



Low fuel tanks in a mild winter
A record number of Vermonters are in need of heating fuel assistance this winter. The state projects that more than 40,000 households will be eligible for one of the four programs offered through the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). That’s nearly double the number receiving assistance in 2007, before the start of the Great Recession. And because the federal government has cut its funding for the program, eligible households are getting less help.



Illusory unemployment rate drop
Vermont’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down again in December, but not because more Vermonters found jobs. The rate went from 5.3 percent in November to 5.1 percent in December. However, there were both fewer employed workers and fewer unemployed workers actively seeking work last month; the Vermont labor force, which is the sum of the two, lost over 1,000 people. The official jobless rate declined, but the job market didn’t get any better.



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