Burlington's cost of living index is 93, making it 7 percent cheaper than the national average. Vermont's cost of living index is 97. The city's low cost of living comes from its inexpensive housing. Rated at 74, it is 26 percent cheaper than the national average and 11 percent cheaper than the state average.
According to the 2010 Census, Burlington's per capita income is $19,011. In 2013, about 20 percent of the city's residents lived below the poverty line. About 9.4 percent of the state's population were under the poverty line. The Census Bureau estimates that about 16 percent of the United States lives in poverty.
Burlington, VT Job Opportunities
Burlington has several large companies that create employment opportunities for local residents. The University of Vermont and the University of Vermont Medical Center are the city's largest employers. This creates plentiful positions for doctors, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals.
General Electric hires software developers and computer programmers with experience building software for the healthcare industry. General Dynamics employs programmers and factory workers for its defense division.
Other significant employers in the Burlington area include Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry's, Bruegger's and Vermont Teddy Bear Company. These diverse job opportunities help keep Burlington's unemployment rate low while providing steady sources of income for local families.
Burlington, VT Employment Trends
Recently, Burlington had a 2.4 percent unemployment rate. At the same time, Vermont's unemployment rate was 3.6 percent and the country's was 5.4 percent. While Burlington's employment opportunities suffered during the Great Recession, it never reached financially catastrophic levels. In April 2007, the city had a 22.9 percent unemployment rate. It reached 6.4 percent in March 2009, but never went higher. Vermont also maintained reasonably healthy employment during this time. It's highest unemployment rate (7 percent) happened May 2009. The state has recovered steadily since then.