Chapter 2: Goals & Data

Goal 18: Vermont’s food system establishments will provide safe & welcoming working conditions, livable wages, & have access to a skilled, reliable workforce.

The complexity of Vermont’s food system means that workers experience a wide variety of wages, safety risks, and working conditions. To measure Goal 18, hourly median wages for food system occupations are compared to livable wages calculated by the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. A livable wage is the hourly wage or annual income sufficient to meet a family's basic needs plus all applicable Federal and State taxes. Basic needs include food, housing, child care, transportation, health care, clothing, household and personal expenses, insurance, and 5% savings.

What does the data show? Box-and-whisker plots are used to depict percentile hourly wage estimates for food system occupation groups. Percentile hourly wage estimates represent the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. For example, 50% of workers in an occupational group earn less than the median hourly wage and 50% earn more; 10% of workers earn less than the hourly 10th percentile and 90% earn more; 90% of workers earn less than the hourly 90th percentile and 10% earn more; and so on. Doctors, managers, and engineers have the highest hourly median wages in Vermont.

Download Goal Data (XLSX 2MB)