Most Vermont counties are below average—at least when it comes to wages. The latest annual figures for 2016 show that only three counties had annual wages higher than the state average. Workers did worst in Orleans, Essex, and Grand Isle counties, where annual wages came in at more than 20 percent below the state average. Manufacturing decline All corners of the state have seen a drop in manufacturing jobs in the last 15 years. Overall, about a third of the jobs have disappeared, falling from about 45,000 in 2001 to about 30,000 last year.