Martha's Vineyard Economic Profile

Summer Sales: Mixed Review

While some business owners predicted a bleak summer season on the Vineyard due to record high gasoline prices and a sagging national economy — an outlook made worse by the devastating Fourth of July fire in Vineyard Haven — the mid-term economic report card for the season has so far been a mixed bag.

Under the Table

Under the Table

Unreported, untaxed, underground income on the Island long has been seen as playing a significant role in the overall Vineyard economy. Now an Island economic profile prepared for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and the Island Plan has taken a closer look at the Vineyard’s underground economy and its wider implications for Island life.

Economy Faces New Pressures

The boom years are over, the Island population is aging at a rapid rate and an underground economy — conservatively estimated at $34 million in unreported wages — threatens to undermine the stability of the Island community.

This is the conclusion of a recent study prepared for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission by John J. Ryan, a consultant with Development Cycles in Amherst.