Who is making below a livable wage?
¼ working Vermonters make below a livable wage. # and % below the livable wage: the LW for two adults w/no children is $11.57/hr ($24,056/yr -- avg. of urban-rural for those w/employer assisted health care); the number of workers who had a median wage less than that amount in May 2006 was 77,150, which was 26% of all jobs in VT;
These are folks who have “good jobs” – like we heard from Donna Olsen this morning – folks working hard playing by the rules, but not making it.
They are also folks doing very important work in our communities – working in our schools – as para-educators, food services workers, custodians - our nursing homes and hospitals – working is stores, ski areas (seasonal work is very big in VT) – jobs with no benefits or too expensive to buy – services in our towns – the backbone of our states
Vermont families are not meeting their basic needs – working two or three jobs – the working poor – 50-60 hour weeks piecing stuff together
Vermonters are hard working and want to be self-sufficient but the reality is the jobs being created in VT aren’t ones that pay enough to support our families
NOT young – according to 1999-2001 Current Population Survey – 60% of all workers earning less than $8.00 are over 30 years old - in addition, there were 8,440 workers who earned less than $17,680 (FT work at $8.50 / hr; NOT including waiters & bartenders); 4,000 tipped workers – tips issue (no benefits, no stable income – low wages – not all working at high end restraints)
Tough picture for working families esp.
People making below a livable wage are folks like you and me – like you heard Donna this AM, she has a BA – works hard – has kids is college
Cost of living going up – declining value of the dollar
Housing, fuel, healthcare, child care all UP
Jobs being created in VT don’t pay well – fastest growing sector is service – specifically Health care and social assistance - social assisnace the fastest growing in that area – average annual wage $16,888/year
Making up the difference with credit cards, social assistance programs – going without – cutting back – turning down the heat – parents not eating
PROBLEM is the cliff in benefits however.
What do we do
Address the cost drivers
Makes life better for everyone – affordable housing, health care, transportation, childcare
Creating a social infrastructure – by investing in these we can creat jobs and make a social investment
Workforce development that isn’t just focused on liberal arts degress but also trades – jobs can’t be outsorced.
this data is from the VT Dept. of Labor's Occupational & Wage Survey data;
NOTE: In 2004, the # was 26% of VTer’s making less then a livable wage for a single person ($11.49 or $22,982/yr average), obviously this is a higher wage and the % is the same – safe to assume that if the calculation was done by this number it would be higher.
March 2nd, 2008