Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Vermont employment is at a five-year peak

Vermont employment is at a five-year peak

The unemployment rate often tops the headlines, but it’s the number of people working that counts. In January in Vermont that number reached its highest point in five years. Employment exceeded 335,200 for the first time since March 2013. While still below the 2006 pre-recession peak, employment has been trending upward over the last year.





Biggest earners, biggest raises
Over the last decade Vermont’s lowest-paid workers have seen little growth in real wages. Full-time workers at the 10th percentile made an average of $20,600 in 2016, or about $500 more than they did in 2006. Those at the 90th percentile earned almost four times their low-wage counterparts—$80,100 in 2016—an increase of nearly $6,000 in annual earnings over 2006. At the median wage yearly paychecks were about $700 fatter than a decade earlier.



Higher minimum wage
The Vermont Senate has passed a bill that would bring the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024. For low-wage workers, that’s nearly $6,000—or 23 percent—more than their projected earnings under the current law, which is indexed to inflation: $12.16 in 2024.




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