The number of hotel and restaurant jobs increased by 1,800 in April, out of 1,900 total new private-sector jobs last month. As Covid-19 cases declined and business restrictions loosened, jobs in the hospitality sector grew to 24,300. The sector is still down more than 20% from pre-pandemic levels.
Increased demand from jobless workers in 2020 drew down over half of the balance in Vermont’s unemployment trust fund. That left it at $222 million at the start of 2021, just short of the minimum level recommended by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Vermont’s unemployment fund balance usually far exceeds the federal minimum and began 2020 as the healthiest in the country. The Legislature has made adjustments to employer contributions and employee benefits to begin rebuilding the fund balance next year.
Thanks to increased tax credits, Vermont families will pay less for child care in 2021—over $8,000 less for some families, compared with 2020. Federal and state child and dependent care tax credits will reimburse filers for expenses up to $4,960 for one child and $9,920 for two. Families with household incomes up to $125,000 can qualify for the full credit. Families that receive support from Vermont’s Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP) will receive smaller refunds because of their already-lower payments.
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