Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Rises and Dips for Workers, But Little Headway

Rises and Dips for Workers, But Little Headway

F1-MJB062Vermont saw the second-biggest jump in unemployment among the states in August—to 4.1 percent from 3.7 percent in July. Longer unemployment lines aren’t necessarily a bad sign, if they mean more people are returning to the labor force and looking for work. But the number in Vermont’s labor force fell in August, as did the number of Vermonters who were working.T1-MJB062






Shrinking incomes
U.S. Census data released this week show Vermonters continued to lose ground after the official end of the Great Recession in 2009. Median annual household income, after adjusting for inflation, fell just over 6 percent between 2009 and 2013. Half of households have annual incomes greater than the median and half have less. In 2013, a median-income household earned $52,578. Adjusted for inflation, its income was $56,096 in 2009 and $54,791 in 2000.


F3-MJB062Persisting poverty
More than 74,000 Vermonters were living in poverty last year, the latest Census data show. The poverty rate rose to 12.3 percent in 2013, a statistically insignificant change. After past recessions, poverty has dropped along with joblessness, according to the Brookings Institution. Vermont’s unemployment rate fell from 6.9 to 4.4 percent from 2009 to 2013, but poverty was essentially unchanged. The federal poverty threshold varies with family size. For a family of four with two kids in 2013 it was $23,624.

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