According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American unemployment is comfortably under 4%. This could be seen as a positive development concerning the American workforce. Yet, one should look closely at the numbers. About 57 million Americans are freelance workers. That accounts for almost 36% of the overall American workforce.
The Impact of the Telecommuting Gig Economy
Many Americans telecommute part-time to work. A lot of traditional, part-time employment is also added to overall employment numbers. Its great to have a job. No one contests that. However, many people survive on part-time work opportunities via the gig economy.
When you survive through the telecommuting gig economy, the quality of work is important. If not more important than the quantity of work. Telecommuting work is a fast-growing business trend. Up to 4 million Americans telecommute to work on a full-time or part-time basis.
As the concept of employment, as with many other forms of business and industry, becomes more digital, more opportunities are sprouting. Some American states are offering telecommuting work opportunities as a way to attract new workforce demographics. If you don’t mind changing your residency, the state of Vermont might have a job for you.
The Remote Worker Grant Program
In May of 2018, Vermont governor Phil Scott signed the Remote Worker Grant Program initiative into law. The program is an initiative to persuade telecommuting workers to move to Vermont. Governor’s Scott political agenda may be to reestablish Vermont’s image from a sleeping, ski-enthusiast state into an entrepreneurial haven for Millennials and telecommuters.
Vermont has a modestly sized and aging population of residents. The Remote Worker Grant Program initiative is a strategy to poach telecommuting workers from other states. It may help to revitalize the state’s brand, but it is unknown how this effort will benefit the state’s employment sector. These potential remote workers will undoubtedly work for out-of-state entities.
Anyone considering this opportunity must be already be working as a telecommuting worker. You also must be willing to move and become a legal resident of Vermont by 2019. All eligible applicants will receive a yearly stipend of $5,000 over a period of two years. The money is to be used to cover the cost of relocation, internet access costs and computer hardware and software maintenance.
The program has a $500,000 budget cap and will expand over a period of three years. In 2019, the budget for the Remote Worker Grant Program initiative is $125,000. By 2020, the budget will expand to $250,000. The program’s budget will then scale back down to $125,000 in 2021. The future budgeting and expansion of the program will hinge on the program’s success throughout these three years.
No Tax Escape
If you apply and gain acceptance into the program, you may be complicating your own tax obligation. You will still pay Vermont income taxes, even if you earn income outside of Vermont.
To qualify, you must apply and move to Vermont before the deadline of January 1, 2019. Vermont residents are ineligible and cannot apply to the program. If you are interested, stay apprised of details to come on Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s official website.
Would you move to Vermont for $10K? Share your thoughts in the comments below!