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  The Connecticut Economic Digest: 2010 - 2014 Last Updated: November 3, 2014
The Connecticut Economic Digest's purpose is to regularly provide users with a comprehensive source for the most current, up-to-date data available on the workforce and economy of the state, within perspectives of the region and nation.

Every month the Connecticut Economic Digest provides the most current economic data available for Connecticut. Decision-makers from many arenas are better informed because the Digest makes it possible to follow the trends and understand the status of economic forces that influence Connecticut's labor markets. We are pleased to continue providing information that is useful in making decisions, setting plans, and engaging in informed conversation.

Articles from the Connecticut Economic Digest may be reprinted if the source is credited. Please send copies of the reprinted material to the Managing Editor. The views expressed by the authors are theirs alone and may not reflect those of the DOL or Department of Economic and Community Development. Managing Editor: Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Editor: Sarah C. York.

For further information, call the Office of Research at 860-263-6290 or e-mail to dol.econdigest@po.state.ct.us.

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Published monthly since 1996 by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
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2014 Connecticut Economic Digest Issues
Download November 2014 Economic Digest   November 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest November 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
The Minimum Wage Debate: 2014 Update 
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

INTRODUCTION: The Minimum Wage Debate — Back with a Vengeance The first version of this article, “The Minimum Wage Debate: The Latest Rounds”, appeared in the January 1999 issue of the Connecticut Economic Digest. It was motivated by Connecticut’s new minimum-wage increase that went into effect January 1, 1999. It raised the State’s minimum wage to $5.65 per hour, and then to $6.15 on January 1, 2000 (or to a value that was indexed to the Federal minimum wage, whichever is greater). Although there was not much opposition in Connecticut, it did spark a national debate and some vocal Congressional opposition, when President Clinton proposed raising the Federal minimum wage. Well, it’s Baaack! [ read more ]  

Download October 2014 Economic Digest   October 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest October 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
A Closer Look at Home Care Occupations 
By Sarah Pilipaitis, Economist, Department of Labor

Every two years, the Connecticut Department of Labor produces long-term occupational projections. The 2012-2022 projections show that two of the fastest growing occupations in terms of percent and net change come from the Home Health Care industry. The fastest growing occupation in Connecticut in the ten-year timeframe by net change is projected to be Personal Care Aides with a growth of 38.1 percent and 8,846 jobs. Nearby on the list of fastest growing occupations in Connecticut is Home Health Aides with a projected growth rate of 38.1% and 3,195 jobs from 2012 to 2022.1 The rise in these two occupations warrants a closer look at what each of them entails. [ read more ]  

Download September 2014 Economic Digest   September 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest September 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
Long Term Industry and Occupational Projections: 2012-2022 
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

Every two years the Connecticut Department of Labor produces and publishes ten year projections by industry and occupation. This year’s projections cover the period 2012-2022, which invites a comparison to the previous ten year period.

The 2002-2012 period spans the global financial and economic crisis that caused the worst national recession since the Great Depression. While employment started to increase after the first quarter of 2010, by 2012 employment in many industries was still below 2002 levels. Importantly, the industries that grew the most after the recovery started were not necessarily the same as those that lost the most during the recession, so the industry and occupational mix of the economy has changed. The long term projections help put these changes into perspective and peek over the horizon to see what the industry and occupational profile of the economy would look like if full employment could be achieved within the next decade. [ read more ]  

Download August 2014 Economic Digest   August 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest August 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
Covered Employment and Wages: A 2013 Annual Review.
By Jonathan Kuchta, Research Analyst, Department of Labor

The number of workers in Connecticut covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI)increased by 0.7 percent during 2013, according to most recent data published from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. This increase built upon the 1.0 percent increase in both 2012 and 2011. Total private industry employment, constituting 85.7 percent of the State’s employment total [little changed from 2012’s 85.5], increased by 1.0 percent. Government employment decreased by 0.5 percent over the year. [ read more ]  

Occupational Profile: Mechanical Engineers.
By Michael Fitzgerald, Research Analyst, Department of Labor

Mechanical Engineers work in a variety of industries developing, building and testing mechanical and thermal devices, including tools, engines and other machines. Mechanical Engineers typically work in an office environment but occasionally travel into the field to inspect or fix equipment. They need at least a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree may be required for management. Mechanical Engineers must be licensed if they sell their services publicly. (Occupational Outlook Handbook) [ read more ]  

Download July 2014 Economic Digest   July 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest July 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
State Housing Market Continued its Recovery in 2013.
By Kolie Sun, Senior Research Analyst, Department of Economic and Community Development

Connecticut’s housing market continued on the path to recovery in 2013 with many economic indicators posting strong gains over the prior year. In this article, we will examine the state’s housing industry and factors that led to stronger housing performance in 2013, most notably permits rising to pre-recession levels. [ read more ]  

75 years of state monthly nonfarm employment statistics.
By Lincoln S. Dyer, Economist, Department of Labor

In the beginning tate and national nonfarm industry employment statistics officially begin their time-series in 1939 just before the start of World War II. More expanded reports on state and national employment, however, were already being called for by the late 1800’s because of rapid industrialization, and during the Great Depression for more national economic planning to emerge from that lasting downturn. By 1940, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) moved to consolidate much of the work already being performed by federal statistical agencies, cooperating state research bureaus, and statistical and industrial societies for war planning purposes before WWII and began producing a national nonagricultural employment series for all 48 states, just as the US was preparing for war. This may have facilitated the redirection and awareness of industrial planning during and after the second world war across the country especially as the GI’s returned home looking for jobs – ready with pent-up demand. (Most of the state data development, firm sampling, and nonfarm employment estimation work were performed in each individual state from about 1947 until recently – 2011. States still are a big part of the process.) [ read more ]  

Download June 2014 Economic Digest   June 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest June 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
Is It Just the Weather? Connecticut's Baseline Forecast Suggests Slower Growth in 2014 and 2015 
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

In April 2014, the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs and the unemployment rate (UR) fell by 0.4 percentage points, to its lowest level in five years, and the numbers for February and March were revised upward. However, after increasing in March, 806,000 left the labor force in April, making a shrinking labor force the principal reason for the declining UR. And the first estimate of U.S. GDP for 2014Q12 showed that U.S. economic growth rapidly decelerated. Many have pointed to the harsh winter weather as the principal culprit, and expect that the April jobs report indicates that the U.S. economy will bounce back in the second quarter. But is it just the weather? [ read more ]  

Download May 2014 Economic Digest   May 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest May 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
Part-time Employment Trends: An Update.
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

The Connecticut Economic Digest last tackled the topic of part-time employment in 1997. Therein it asked “are these newly created jobs mostly part-time (1 to 34 hours), with relatively low paying wages?” The tepid post-recession recovery we are currently experiencing has many people asking those same questions again. Fortunately, data availability has improved since the 1990s and this article will highlight state-level measures of earnings and hours worked to help answer those questions about the Connecticut economy. [ read more ]  

Download April 2014 Economic Digest   April 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest April 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Exports: 2013 in Review 
By Laura Jaworski, Office of International and Domestic Affairs, Department of Economic and Community Development

To assess Connecticut’s export status, The Connecticut Economic Digest conducts an annual review of the state’s export performance. Exports are a significant contributor to the state’s economy - they support and create jobs and spur economic growth. In 2013, Connecticut’s commodity exports totaled $16.47 billion, a 3.23% increase from the $15.96 billion registered in 2012. Connecticut was one of 16 states to achieve a new record for exports in 2013, which helped drive the United States to overall record-setting 2013 exports. Since the 2010 launch of President Obama’s “National Export Initiative” (NEI), the U.S. has experienced four consecutive years of record exports. Given the correlation between exports and jobs, and that 95% of potential consumers live abroad, trade expansion and increased exports are vital to economic development. [ read more ]  

Occupational Profile: Dentist Hygienists 
By Lisa D’Acunto, Research Analyst, Department of Labor

Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, take x-rays, and provide other preventative dental care. They remove tartar and plaque and apply sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth. Educating patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health is also an important part of this profession. Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene are also available, but are less common. A bachelor’s or master’s degree is usually required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs. Every state requires dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state. Licensure requirements in most states include a degree from an accredited dental hygiene program and passing grades on written and practical examinations. [ read more ]

Download March 2014 Economic Digest   March 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest March 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
2013: Another Year of Modest Economic Recovery 
By Jungmin Charles Joo, Department of Labor

Last year was another year of modest economic recovery in Connecticut, with many economic indicators, including employment and unemployment, pointing in positive directions. After our annual revision, Connecticut gained 14,300 jobs (+0.9%) in 2013, which was essentially the same pace as in 2012. The unemployment rate fell further to 7.8%.

During the March 2008-February 2010 recession, Connecticut lost 119,100 jobs, of which half are now recovered. By comparison, the nation has now regained nearly all of the jobs lost (90.1%) in its last January 2008-February 2010 employment downturn. [ read more ]  

Download February 2014 Economic Digest   February 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest February 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
A Look Back at Connecticut's (Exhausted) UI Claimants 
By Manisha Srivastava

Over three and a half years since the end of the Great Recession, Connecticut’s unemployment rate remains persistently high. Nationally, long term unemployment as a share of total unemployment at 37.3% is down from its 2010 peak of 45%, but still much higher than prerecession levels. Who are these long-term unemployed? How many have returned to the job market and with what success? This article attempts to shed light on these and other questions. [ read more ]  

Occupational Profile: Personal Financial Advisors 
By Linda Mothersele, Research Analyst, Department of Labor

Personal financial advisors give financial advice to people. They help with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions. A bachelor’s degree is required for an entry level position, but a master’s degree and certification increases chances for advancement and a higher level of pay. While most financial advisors work out of an office, nearly 25 percent of personal financial advisors were self employed in 2010. Their schedules often involve evening or weekend meetings with clients. They may also attend conferences and conduct classes in financial planning. With a high percentage of baby boomers nearing retirement there is a strong demand for this type of service. People are having to take more responsibility for their own financial planning as the funding for pensions has decreased, thus increasing the need for this type of service. [ read more ]

Download January 2014 Economic Digest   January 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest January 2014 Connecticut Economic Digest
The 2014 Economic Outlook 
By Mark Prisloe, Associate Economist, Department of Economic and Community Development

As is customary at the beginning of the year, this issue of the Digest looks at the economic prospects for 2014. This outlook attempts to interpret recent data and their trends, and to offer some insights about what they mean for the U.S. and Connecticut economies in the year ahead.

The outlook for the U.S. economy is reasonably optimistic pending a positive resolution of two fiscal deadlines that loom early in the year, notably the January 15, 2014 end of the continuing resolution funding of the federal government, and the February 7, 2014 end of the nation’s borrowing authority. A short-term slowdown in Q4-2013 resulting from the partial government shutdown in October is likely only temporary. [ read more ]  

2013 Connecticut Economic Digest Issues
Download November/December 2013 Economic Digest   November / December 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
 Note: The November and December issues are combined as a result of the federal government shutdown.
November/December 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
WHERE WE WORK: Connecticut's Commuting Patterns
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

According to the American Community Survey conducted every year by the U.S. Census Bureau, on average, over the 2006-10 period, 1,713,272 Connecticut residents commuted to their jobs every workday. From Table 1, 1,618,120 of those Connecticut residents commuted to jobs within Connecticut, while 107,976 commuted to jobs at worksites outside Connecticut. In addition to the Connecticut residents who commuted to their jobs within the state, another 95,152 workers from surrounding states commuted to their jobs at worksites in Connecticut. The net result is that Connecticut exports 12,824 more workers to the surrounding states than it imports form the surrounding states. That makes Connecticut a net exporter of workers. [ read more ]  

OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: Physician Assistants
By Michael Polzella, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine under the direction of physicians and surgeons. They are formally trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Physician Assistant (PA) profession was created to improve and expand healthcare. “In the mid-1960s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage of primary care physicians. To remedy this, Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD, of the Duke University Medical Center put together the first class of PAs in 1965. He selected Navy corpsmen who had received considerable medical training during their military service and based the curriculum on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II." [ read more ]  

Download October 2013 Economic Digest   October 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest October 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
The Monthly Snapshot Is Not the Whole Picture
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

Labor markets are more dynamic than revealed in the monthly tallies of changes in employment levels. Two additional sets of indicators – the Business Employment Dynamics (BED)1 and the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI)2 help illuminate the workings of the economy and labor market.

Each month, the Department of Labor reports a snapshot of current employment which can be compared to the level of employment in a previous period, for example the previous year or the previous month. As the table at the top of page 6 shows, in August Connecticut employment fell by 6,000 jobs from July but increased 15,400 from August 2012. [ read more ]  

Connecticut Occupational Employment and Wages in 2013
By Michael Fitzgerald, CCT Research Analyst, Department of Labor

The 2013 estimates from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Program were recently released. The estimates show Connecticut’s total nonfarm employment at 1,620,620. The two largest occupations in the state are Retail Salespersons (50,070) and Cashiers (39,050), comprising 3.1% and 2.4% of total employment, respectively. The remaining top ten occupations are Registered Nurses; Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive; General and Operations Managers; Customer Service Representatives; Waiters and Waitresses; Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeepers; Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food; and Office Clerks, General. These occupations represent just under 20% of total employment in the state. Ninety-two percent of the employees in the ten largest occupations are employed in the private sector. The percentages range from nearly 100% private employment for Retail Salespersons to 74% for Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners. The overall percentage of private employment in the state is slightly lower at 85%. [ read more ]  

Download September 2013 Economic Digest   September 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest September 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut's Regions and the Current Recovery 
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

Over the first four quarters of the current recovery, the first quarter of 2010 (2010Q1) to the first quarter of 2011 (2011Q1), based on seasonally adjusted quarterly data, Connecticut’s Non-Farm Employment grew by 1.60%, while U.S. Non-Farm jobs increased by a slower 0.99% rate. Over the second four quarters, 2011Q1 to 2012Q1, the U.S. and Connecticut traded places. Connecticut’s job-growth decelerated to 1.26%, while U.S. job-growth accelerated to +1.83%. Over the third four-quarter period of the current recovery, though the U.S. job-growth rate slowed to 1.54%, Connecticut’s job-growth nearly came to a standstill, barely increasing at a rate of 0.26%. What happened? [ read more ]  

Download August 2013 Economic Digest   August 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest August 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
Covered Employment and Wages: A 2012 Annual Review.
By Jonathan Kuchta, CCT, Department of Labor

The number of workers in CT covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) increased by 1.0 percent during 2012, according to most recent data published from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program (see table on pages 2 and 3). This increase built upon the 1.0 percent increase from 2011, as opposed to the 1.2 percent decline noted in 2010. Total private industry employment, constituting 85.5 percent of the State’s employment total [little changed from 2011’s 85.3], increased by 1.2 percent. Government employment decreased by 0.5 percent year-over-year. [ read more ]  

Connecticut Migration Patterns.
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

Examining interstate migration patterns provides an interesting view of where new Nutmeggers are coming from and where former Connecticut residents are going. Table 1 shows the ten largest sources of Connecticut inflow migration. The bordering states of New York and Massachusetts had the largest combined share of total inflow to the state at 39 percent of total inflows. Together with the third largest inflow state of Florida, those three states totaled 45 percent of flows into Connecticut. These three states since 2005 have consistently comprised the top three inflow origins to Connecticut. Overall inflow to the state in 2011 was 73,607 new residents. From 2005 through 2011 inflow peaked in 2006 at 88,518 new residents. [ read more ]  

Download July 2013 Economic Digest   July 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest July 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
State's 2012 Housing Market in Review.
By Kolie Sun, Senior Research Analyst, Department of Economic and Community Development

The housing market is an important sector of the economy — it creates jobs, spurs economic growth and impacts our overall quality of life. This article takes a look at many aspects of Connecticut’s housing industry and the factors that led to modest housing growth in 2012, despite the fact that permits did not reach prerecession levels. [ read more ]  

Every time is different, but this one is really different.
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

No two business cycles are alike, but at least since the 1990’s it had become conventional wisdom that recessions in Connecticut would last longer and see much larger job drops than the nation as a whole. This was certainly true of the recessions of 1990 and 2001, but that story didn’t hold for the recession that hit Connecticut in 2008. [ read more ]  

Download June 2013 Economic Digest   June 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest June 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
Turning Point, Inflection Point, or More of the Same? The Outlook to 2014Q4. 
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

As of 2013Q1, Connecticut has been in recovery for 12 quarters, or three years. This recovery followed the first collapse of housing and credit bubbles since the 1920’s, and the first systemic banking panic since the 1930’s. In addition, after the financial system bailout in late 2008 and passage of the stimulus package in early 2009, austerity has won the day, in both in the U.S. and Europe. Consequently, this cycle, including the current recovery, has behaved differently than even other Post Cold War cycles which have been much weaker than other Post World War II Era recoveries. [ read more ]  

Download May 2013 Economic Digest   May 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest May 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
Does Education Matter? 
By Sarah York, Economist, Department of Labor

With the varied reports on the state of the economy recently, many people are finding it difficult to tell which direction the economy is headed. The uncertainty leads many questioning their perceived notion on how to become successful in a chosen career. With increased attention on the costs of higher education coupled with the meek jobs reports, the decision to attend college may not seem worth it. However, an analysis of the most recent data available for Connecticut suggests that there is still a significant benefit to pursue higher education. [ read more ]  

A Profile of Mansfield, Connecticut 
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

Situated 23 miles from Hartford in the rolling countryside of eastern Connecticut, Mansfield has grown from a quaint farming community to become the home of a major university. The town was incorporated in 1702 by settlers from nearby Norwich and encompasses about 45 square miles. Early industries included agriculture and textile manufacturing. The town led the U.S. in silk production in the early 19th century. The 1881 formation of the Storrs Agricultural School that later became the University of Connecticut established education as a primary industry for the town. A majority of Mansfield’s employment occurs in and around the UConn campus in the Storrs section of town and the recent Storrs Center commercial development seeks to further invigorate the local economy. [ read more ]

Download April 2013 Economic Digest   April 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest April 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Exports: 2012 in Review 
By Laura Jaworski, Office of International and Domestic Affairs, Department of Economic and Community Development

Each year The Digest takes a look at Connecticut’s annual export performance. Exports are an important contributor to the state’s economy, create jobs and spur economic growth. In 2012, Connecticut’s commodity exports totaled $15.86 billion, a slight 2.14% decline from the $16.21 billion recorded in 2011. These commodity exports represent approximately 7% of Connecticut’s gross state product (state GSP), up from 4.9% of state GSP just ten years earlier in 2002. [ read more ]  

A Look at Phil Fed’s Coincident and Leading Indexes 
By Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

State Coincident Indexes. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia produces a monthly coincident index for each of the 50 states and the nation, and it combines four state-level indicators, nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average) to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic. The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so longterm growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP. [ read more ]

Download March 2013 Economic Digest   March 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest March 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut's Modest Economic Recovery Continues in 2012 
By Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

Many of the Connecticut economic indicators have shown signs of a continuation of a modest economic recovery last year. After our annual revision, Connecticut’s employment grew faster than originally estimated, keeping pace with the trend of 2011. Initial December 2012 employment estimate, for instance, was 100 lower than the December 2011 level. But it turns out that we actually had a gain of 8,600 jobs over the same period. And this year is off to a good start with a 4,700 job gain (+0.3%) in January, which is 8,000 more than a year ago. In fact, January’s 1,644,400 is the new high in this recovery. Unemployment rate also has been falling steadily in the last five months to 8.1% in January 2013, which is below last year’s 8.2%. [ read more ]  

Download February 2013 Economic Digest   February 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest February 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut's Private Sector Hours and Earnings: Working to Get Back to Normal 
By Lincoln S. Dyer, Economist, Department of Labor

In 2007, just prior to the start of the “Great Recession,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a new series tracking hours and earnings for all private workers. The data are available for the U.S. and states for the aggregated private sector and major private industry divisions.

The series was developed because the traditional production worker hours and earnings estimates, produced since 1939 for war planning purposes in the goods-producing industries (construction and manufacturing), no longer captured the U.S. economy. Service-providing sectors were now adding the greater part of the new jobs and output in the globalized 21st century. The monthly estimates (average hourly length of the private sector workweek, average hourly private pay rates, and the average weekly private earnings) are samplebased, and have not yet been officially seasonally adjusted by the BLS. A total private level only estimate (no industry supersectors) is also being calculated for Connecticut’s six BLS-recognized labor market areas (LMAs). The new all employee private payroll data, after several years of availability, are starting to give some useful approximations of general workforce trends in the states. [ read more ]  

Download January 2013 Economic Digest   January 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest January 2013 Connecticut Economic Digest
The 2013 Economic Outlook 
By Mark Prisloe, Associate Economist, Department of Economic and Community Development

As we begin a new year, the Digest looks at the economic prospects for the year ahead. This outlook is an interpretation of some of the most recent data and their trends, and offers some insights about what they portend for the U.S. and Connecticut economies.

The outlook for the U.S. economy is improving. Real Gross Domestic Product (RGDP) has grown for three and a half years since the “Great Recession” ended in Q2-2009. The constant dollar value of all goods and services produced by labor and capital located in the U.S. since then has averaged 2.2% at an annual rate from the preceding quarter (Figure 1). Decreasing by 3.1% in 2009, growing 2.4% in 2010, 1.8% in 2011, and an estimated 3.1% in Q3-2012, RGDP growth of 1.8% to 2.4% is likely in 2013. The New England Economic Partnership (NEEP), a consortium of government, business, and academia, in its proprietary forecast sees RGDP growth at 2.4% in 2013. The National Association of Business Economists (NABE) outlook panel sees 2.4% growth in 2013. [ read more ]  

2012 Connecticut Economic Digest Issues
Download December 2012 Economic Digest   December 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest December 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Job Polarization in Connecticut 
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

In recent months, much has been written of the hollowing out of the middle class during the recovery. A New York Times article partially attributes this to longterm trends of automation and globalization that cause a polarization of labor to high and low wage employment. The same article extensively reports on the findings by The National Employment Law Project (NELP). Their work analyzed nationwide Current Population Survey (CPS) data and found middle wage jobs incurred a majority of job losses during the recession, while lowwage jobs experienced a majority of post-recession job growth. The report also found the share of high wage job losses and subsequent gains to be 19 and 20 percent. [ read more ]

A Look at the Help Wanted OnLine Data Series 
By Sarah York, Economist, Department of Labor

Gone are the days when the most effective and utilized job search method was to open up your local newspaper. The use of online databases by job seekers has become much more prevalent in recent years. In an effort to reflect this reality, the Conference Board replaced its Help Wanted newspaper employment index with the Help Wanted OnLine Data Series (HWOL) in 2005. The series can be used for a variety of purposes, but its strengths may lie as an indicator of job demand as represented by employment vacancies and as a leading indicator of potential shifts in actual employment levels. [ read more ]

Download November 2012 Economic Digest   November 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest November 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Local Area Unemployment Statistics: A Primer 
By Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

Unexpected movements in recent unemployment rate numbers surprised and puzzled many data users in the state. While sometimes no plausible explanations can readily be found behind these statistics, the unemployment rate has been and is undoubtedly one of the most important economic indicators in Connecticut and the nation that cannot simply be ignored or dismissed. So do you ever wonder how the unemployment rate is calculated for Connecticut? How about for all nine labor market areas and for all 169 cities and towns? Given the intense focus on Connecticut’s unemployment rate the last few months, it is worth spending time to build a common understanding of how the rate is determined. [ read more ]

Download October 2012 Economic Digest   October 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest October 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut and the Housing Bust: A Tale of Two Bubbles 
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

On July 18, 2012, the Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies (CREUES) at the University of Connecticut released their study in which they found signs of stabilizing housing prices after more than a year of declines. They found that over the previous year prices had stabilized or increased throughout most of Connecticut’s markets, and that those areas with declines also showed improvement with smaller drops. Nationally, in their 2012 report released in June, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University stated:

After several false starts, there is reason to believe that 2012 will mark the beginning of a true housing market recovery. Sustained employment growth remains key, providing the stimulus for stronger household growth and bringing relief to some distressed homeowners. They went on to caution: While gaining ground, the homeowner market still faces multiple challenges. If the broader economy weakens in the short term, the housing rebound could again stall. [ read more ]  

Download September 2012 Economic Digest   September 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest September 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Youth Employment Patterns Revisited 
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

Last summer, the Connecticut Economic Digest published an article on youth employment in Connecticut. It used wage and Department of Motor Vehicles records to illustrate employment change by industry from the second to third quarter of 2007 and 2010. The article noted that youth employment declined at nearly three times the rate of overall Connecticut employment. This summer, the Census Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) dataset has been examined to provide a more detailed and longer-term analysis of labor market changes for youths in Connecticut. The analysis provides more detail as to how the recession has affected the state’s youngest segment of the labor force and analyzes long-term trends that help indicate the direction we are heading a full 3 years into the NBER-declared recovery. [ read more ]  

Download August 2012 Economic Digest   August 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest August 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Unemployment Insurance Covered Employment and Wages: 2011 Annual Review 
By Edward T. Doukas, Jr., Research Analyst, Department of Labor

The number of workers in Connecticut covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws increased by 1.0 percent during 2011, according to data derived through the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. The 2011 increase reversed the trend over the previous two years when annual average employment declined; down 1.2 percent in 2010 and 4.3 percent in 2009. Total private industry employment, accounting for 85.3 percent of the State’s employment total, increased by 1.6 percent, while government employment fell by 1.9 percent. [ read more ]  

Connecticut Occupational Employment and Wages in 2012
By Lisa Castagna, Department of Labor, & Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

The recently released statistics by the Office of Research in the Connecticut Department of Labor showed that retail salespersons (50,190) and cashiers (39,640) were the occupations with the highest employment in Connecticut. These two occupations combined made up nearly 6 percent of total Connecticut employment. [ read more ]  

Download July 2012 Economic Digest   July 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest July 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
State Housing Market Languished in 2011 
By Kolie Sun, Senior Research Analyst, Department of Economic and Community Development

The housing sector continued to be a drag on the economy through 2011 as suggested by a number of indicators, including record-low permit production and weak home sales. This article examines the 2011 housing market from several perspectives and includes some observations. [ read more ]  

Even in Tough Times, Education Improves Chances in Labor Market
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

During graduation season, there were a number of stories in the news about the difficulty that many new college graduates are having finding employment, particularly high paying employment within a field related to their course of study. In addition, announcements by many institutions of tuition and fee increases and the debates in Washington about the interest rate changed on student loans generated media attention on the high cost of higher education. Implicit in some of this coverage is the idea that given the high cost of going to college, and the shortterm difficulty of some college graduates in the labor market, a college education might not be “worth it.” While “individual results may vary” as they say (in fact they do vary significantly), on average additional education is still associated with increased employment and higher long term earnings prospects. [ read more ]  

Download June 2012 Economic Digest   June 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest June 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Drag Forces From Balance Sheet Recession Still Constrain Growth: The Employment Outlook to 2013 
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

Drag is the aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft’s motion through the air. If for our analogy, we cast the aircraft as the economy, then the drag force on the economy is the $16.4 trillion collapse in net worth of U.S. households between 2007Q2 and 2009Q1. As of the fourth quarter of 2011, U.S. household net worth was still down $8.4 trillion from its peak. Further, the net worth of non-incorporated businesses was still down $2 trillion from its peak, also in 2007Q2. As noted in The Outlook to 2012, the recent downturn was no “ordinary” recession, and this is not a “normal” recovery. This recovery not only followed a financial panic, but also the first popping of asset bubbles in housing and the stock market, in conjunction with unsustainable levels of household debt since the 1920s. This wiped out the net worth of a significant number of households, as well as unincorporated businesses, leaving in its wake what has been called a Balance Sheet Recession. Balance sheet recessions are steeper and last longer than nonbalance sheet recessions, and they are followed by weaker recoveries5 as households reduce their spending and pay down debt to repair their net worth. [ read more ]  

Download May 2012 Economic Digest   May 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest May 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Is Connecticut a Small Business State? 
By Manisha Srivastava, Economist, Department of Labor

Over the past decade and a half, America’s small businesses have created 65 percent of all new jobs in the country… These companies are the engine of job growth in America.” -President Barack Obama, October 21, 2009

A widely held belief is small businesses create most of the new jobs. Given the recent recession and slow recovery, there is a lot of interest in job creation and policies to promote economic growth. Using a newly available data set from the U.S. Census, this article explores the notion of job creation by both firm age and firm size, and seeks to provide some clarity on the underlying dynamics of Connecticut’s labor market.

The Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) produced by the U.S. Census Bureau is compiled using the Census Bureau’s Business Register. The Business Register covers establishments of all domestic businesses including the self-employed, but excluding private households and governments. The BDS dataset tabulates data at the establishment level (an establishment is a fixed physical location where economic activity takes place). Establishments all belong to firms (a firm may be the parent of one establishment or multiple establishments). When analyzing BDS data for Connecticut it is important to note that though the establishments are all based within Connecticut, parent firms for Connecticut’s establishments can be located anywhere in the nation. [ read more ]  

Download April 2012 Economic Digest   April 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest April 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Exports: 2011 in Review 
By Laura Jaworski, Office of International and Domestic Affairs, Department of Economic and Community Development

Exports are an engine of growth and an important contributor to gross domestic product. In Connecticut, commodity exports represent approximately 7% of the gross state product (state GDP). Exports sustain and create jobs and also have a multiplier effect on the economy. Given the fact that 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S., it makes sense to pursue foreign market opportunities and reach those consumers, generate new business, create jobs and spur economic growth and recovery. [ read more ]  

Employment Patterns and Structural Unemployment
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

The recent recession has raised the question of structural unemployment’s contribution to the stubbornly high unemployment rates that have thus far typified the recovery period. Structural change—the permanent relocation of workers from some industries to others, is a dynamic process that occurs throughout business cycles. [ read more ]  

Download March 2012 Economic Digest   March 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest March 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Continues on a Path to Recovery 
By Lincoln S. Dyer, Economist, Department of Labor & Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, DOL, Jungmin.Joo@ct.gov

Connecticut’s employment recovery from the devastating global financial recession continues. However, much more remediation, rebirth, and renewal are needed for a stable and lasting jobs revival. The January 2012 total nonfarm employment estimate is off to a promising start toward that end with a 7,100 job gain (0.4%). And the year-over-year job growth is accelerating to 0.7% in January 2012 from 0.5% in December 2011. The recently revised seasonally adjusted employment estimates confirm that Connecticut is making its way beyond this generational downturn. [ read more ]  

Download February 2012 Economic Digest   February 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest February 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut's Bioscience Industry: An Update 
By Stan McMillen, Ph.D., Managing Economist, DECD and Mark Prisloe, Associate Economist, Department of Economic and Community Development

The “Bioscience Connecticut” initiative that emerged in May 2011 is an $864 million investment that intends to make the University of Connecticut’s Health Center (UCHC) a hub of research and clinical work in bioscience. This initiative reinforces the state’s ongoing and renewed commitment to make Connecticut a leader in the bioscience industry. The “Bioscience Connecticut” initiative anticipates creating 3,000 jobs annually from 2012 through 2018 in the construction of a new patient tower and ambulatory care facility and renovations to existing research facilities. The plan estimates the creation of 16,400 jobs through 2037, a doubling of federal and industry research grants, as well as increased access to high quality health care, increased medical and dental school enrollments (+30%) and an increase in the number of primary and specialty care clinicians to meet forecasted workforce shortages and increased demand for healthcare services. [ read more ]  

Download January 2012 Economic Digest   January 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest January 2012 Connecticut Economic Digest
The 2012 Economic Outlook 
By Stan McMillen, Ph.D., Managing Economist, DECD and Mark Prisloe, Associate Economist, Department of Economic and Community Development

Since the “Great Recession” ended in Q2-2009 per the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Business Cycle Dating Committee, real gross domestic product (RGDP) growth has been positive. The growth rate of the constant dollar value of all goods and services produced by labor and capital located in the U.S. has averaged 2.5% at an annual rate from the preceding quarter (Figure 1) In 2010, RGDP grew 3.0%, after decreasing by 0.3% in 2008 and 3.5% in 2009. We believe U.S. RGDP growth will be between 1.5% and 2% in 2012. The New England Economic Partnership (NEEP), a consortium of government, business and academia, in its proprietary forecast sees RGDP growth at 1.8% in 2012. The National Association of Business Economists (NABE) outlook panel sees 2.4% growth in 2012. [ read more ]  

2011 Connecticut Economic Digest Issues
Download December 2011 Economic Digest   December 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Personal Income: Forecast for 2012 Download December 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

On September 22, 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released state personal income for the second quarter of 2011. Connecticut’s (CT), current dollar, seasonally adjusted quarterly personal income (QPI) was $206.408 billion for the second quarter of 2011 (2011Q2). This was up by $2.522 billion, or 1.24% from 2011Q1, and up by $9.694 billion, or 4.93% from 2010Q2. The second quarter QPI number had been revised downward by $1.632 billion to $203.886 billion from the initial estimate of $205.518 billion published in the June 2011 release. [ read more ]

Download November 2011 Economic Digest   November 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut's UI Exhaustees: Where Are They Now? Download November 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Manisha Srivastava, Economist, Department of Labor

The recession of the late 2000’s is the worst to hit the United States since the depression of the 1930’s. Nineteen months after the official completion of Connecticut’s recession, the unemployment rate is still stubbornly stuck around 9%. Based on data from the Current Employment Survey (CES), it is estimated about 119,000 jobs were lost in Connecticut through December 2009. Connecticut gained 24,300 jobs from January 2010, the end of Connecticut’s recession, to January 2011. However, from January 2011 to July 2011, only about 8,500 jobs have been created. At the current level of job growth, it will take many years to employ those laid off by the recession. [ read more ]

This a partial reprint of “Following Connecticut’s Unemployment Insurance Claimants Through the Recession,” by Manisha Srivastava, Connecticut Department of Labor, October 2011. For the full report, including an analysis on the demographics of current claimants, download: http://www1.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi/pubs/ConnecticutUIClaimants.pdf

Download October 2011 Economic Digest   October 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Young People Aren't Fleeing and the Cities Aren't Dying Download October 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau refute the conventional wisdom that young people are leaving Connecticut in droves and the population of our cities is in decline. One example of popular perceptions comes from the “2011 Survey of Connecticut Business” released in early September by BlumShapiro and CBIA which reported “An overwhelming majority of respondents (85%) worry about the state’s slow population growth and out-migration of 21-to-45 year-olds.” Similarly, when population estimates from the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) were released, a press release was headlined “Connecticut Still at Bottom in Attracting, Keeping 25-34-Year-Olds.” In fact, the 2010 U.S. Census confirms that Ct’s population is aging, but that the situation is not as dire or dramatic as perceptions would suggest. [ read more ]  

Download September 2011 Economic Digest   September 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut's Defense-Related Industry: Spending, Employment, and Dependency Download September 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Mark Prisloe, Associate Economist, Department of Economic and Community Development

This article examines how Connecticut’s defense industry has fared in recent years and how much the overall state economy depends on it. When last reported in this publication (August 1996 and February 2005), from 1985 to 1995 U.S. federal defense procurement had dropped precipitously by 43% from $179 billion in 1985 to $101 billion in 1995. It was $327.5 billion in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2009. This was in part attributable to the “peace dividend” following the end of the Cold War. In Connecticut defense procurement also dropped significantly over the same period by 64%, from $7.1 billion to $2.5 billion (in fixed 1992 dollars). This trend has been thoroughly reversed by one of the largest surges in national security spending in the state’s history. [ read more ]  

Download August 2011 Economic Digest   August 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Covered Employment and Wages: 2010 Annual Review Download August 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Edward T. Doukas, Jr., Research Analyst, Department of Labor

Employment in Connecticut covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) decreased by 1.2 percent during 2010, according to preliminary figures that recently became available through the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. While 2010 recorded the second consecutive drop in annual average employment, the rate of decline was less than in 2009 when covered employment dropped by 4.3 percent. Total private industry employment, constituting 84.8 percent of the State’s employment total, decreased by 1.1 percent, while government employment fell by 1.7 percent. [ read more ]  

Download July 2011 Economic Digest   July 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
State's Housing Market: a Long Road to Recovery Download July 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By By Kolie Sun, Senior Research Analyst, Department of Economic and Community Development

Housing market activity is one of the barometers of the health of the state and national economies. The anemic housing permit growth, weak home price increases, and fewer residential real estate transactions in 2010 - when coupled with high unemployment, a jobless economic recovery and a rising foreclosure rate - suggest that the state’s housing doldrums may continue. This article examines the housing market from several perspectives. [ read more ]  

Youth Employment in Connecticut  [ Download July 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

For many, summer is a time for relaxation. The season is typified by sunny weather, family vacations, barbeques and trips to the beach. However, the season also represents a young workers initiation into the labor force. Be it work as a camp counselor, lifeguard, salesperson or waitress, those summer jobs teach youths valuable skills they will carry with them onto enhanced employment opportunities later in life. Unfortunately, for a growing number of American youths, these jobs are increasingly hard to find. [ read more ]  

Download June 2011 Economic Digest   June 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
The Ups and Downs of Recovering from a Balance Sheet Recession: The Outlook to 2012  [ Download June 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

The ups and downs of this recovery continue as U.S. GDP growth decelerated from 3.1% (on an annualized basis) in 2010Q4 to 1.8% in 2011Q1. But then, U.S. nonfarm payroll employment grew by 244,000 in April. After the killing of Osama bin Laden, commodity prices, including oil, plummeted the first week of May. However, this may have also been driven by the retreat of speculators and a bearish outlook for the world economy.

The recent downturn was no “ordinary” recession, and we are currently in anything but a “normal” recovery. This recovery has followed the first U.S. systemic banking panic since the 1930s, the first collapse of a shadow banking system since 1907, and the first succession of collapses in asset bubbles in housing and the stock market, in conjunction with unsustainable levels of household debt since the 1920s. This resulted in what has been called a Balance Sheet Recession. The Great Depression was a balance sheet recession, as was the recession that followed the collapse of Japan’s real estate bubble in 1989. Balance sheet recessions are steeper and last longer than non-balance sheet recessions, and they are followed by weaker recoveries. [ read more ]  

Download May 2011 Economic Digest   May 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Exports: 2010 in Review  [ Download May 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Laura Jaworski, Office of International and Domestic Affairs, Department of Economic and Community Development

In a climate of fiscal and budgetary challenges, it is imperative to recognize that export growth is a vehicle to achieve the twin goals of job creation and economic recovery. Exports are an engine of growth and an important contributor to gross domestic product. In Connecticut, commodity exports represent approximately 7% of the gross state product (state GDP). Exports sustain and create jobs and have a multiplier effect on the economy. Given the fact that 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S., it makes sense to pursue foreign market opportunities and reach those consumers, generate new business, create jobs and spur economic growth and recovery. Exports are critical for business and economic success. [ read more ]  

Manufacturing Isn't Dead: It Doesn't Even Look That Way!   [ Download May 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

Some have erroneously declared manufacturing “dead,” particularly in a state like Connecticut that has seen manufacturing’s share of total employment fall nearly in half in the past twenty years. But this pronouncement is not just “premature” (to quote Mark Twain) but completely unwarranted. While a smaller share of total employment, manufacturing is and will continue to be a vital component of Connecticut’s economy and labor market, and Connecticut will remain a place where manufacturers can grow and prosper. [ read more ]  

Download April 2011 Economic Digest   April 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
A New Approach to Analyzing the Gender Wage Gap  [ Download April 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Manisha Srivastava, Economist, Department of Labor

Equal Pay Day” takes place on a Tuesday in April (April 12th this year), symbolizing how far into the workweek women must work to earn what men earned the previous week. The gender wage gap is calculated by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), and is based on data collected through surveys. This article takes a new approach to understanding the gender wage gap using wage records from Connecticut’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. The gender wage gap is analyzed by age group and in further detail for select industries, with interesting implications for policy makers.

As of 2009, the national ratio of women’s to men’s median annual earnings for full-time year-round workers was 0.77. Though the gender wage gap decreased since it was first tracked, the rate of decline has plateaued in recent years. The gender wage gap dropped 12.4 cents between 1981 and 1990, 3.8 cents between 1991 and 2000, and 0.7 cents between 2001 and 2009. The gender wage gap is deeper in Connecticut, where women earn 75 cents for every dollar earned by men. [ read more ]  

Download March 2011 Economic Digest   March 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Recovery Began in January 2010 Download March 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

The Great Recession II that began in March 2008 has ended in January 2010 for Connecticut, as measured by the total nonfarm employment. The newly revised seasonally adjusted employment data showed January 2010 to be the bottom of this awful economic downturn, one month later than originally anticipated. Over the 22 months of the recession, nearly 119,200 jobs were lost, about 20,000 more than originally estimated last March (see “Connecticut Recession to End in December 2009?” Connecticut Economic Digest, March 2010).

Though this downturn lasted far less than the 38 months in the July 2000-Sept 2003 recession and the 46 months in 1989-1992’s Great Recession, the severity of employment drop is astounding. The 7.0% job loss in the March 2008-January 2010 recession was more drastic than 2000-2003’s 3.7%, though not as severe as the 9.3% decrease in the February 1989-December 1992 downturn, which lasted the longest at 46 months, and cost 157,000 jobs. Moreover, when the employment losses through 22 months into recession were compared, the latest recession was even deeper than the 1989-1992 one (-7.0% vs. –5.3%). In fact, this recession experienced the worst job loss since the 1943-45 downturn (-9.5%). [ read more ]

Download February 2011 Economic Digest   February 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
Danbury Labor Market Area Profiled Download February 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

Alabor market area is defined as an economically integrated geographic area within which individuals can reside and find employment within a reasonable distance or can readily change employment without changing their place of residence. Connecticut has nine labor market areas, named for the major cities that serve as their hubs. The areas are Bridgeport-Stamford, Danbury, Enfield, Hartford, New Haven, Norwich-New London, Torrington, Waterbury and Willimantic-Danielson.

The Danbury Labor Market Area (LMA) consists of the western Connecticut towns of Sherman, New Fairfield, Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Bridgewater and New Milford. It has the fourth smallest labor force out of Connecticut’s nine labor market areas. These seven towns hold a combined population of 158,632 residents and the LMA has a labor force of 92,483. [ read more ]  

Download January 2011 Economic Digest   January 2011 Connecticut Economic Digest
The Connecticut Economic Outlook for 2011 Download January 2011 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Stan McMillen, Ph.D., Managing Economist, DECD and Mark Prisloe, Associate Economist, Department of Economic and Community Development

The Nation. We expect the modest expansion of the U.S. economy that began in the third quarter of 2009 will continue in 2011. The outlook for continued recovery from the longest recession since the 1930s that began in December 2007 and lasted 18 months is tempered by harsh realities - notably, unacceptably high unemployment and a weak housing market. Yet, private sector employment increased in each month last year, totaling 1.1 million jobs through October 2010. Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 or 4.1% above the September 2009 rate of 586,000. U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an average rate of 2.8% each quarter since the Q3-2009 expansion began. [ read more ]  

Top
2010 Connecticut Economic Digest Issues
Download December 2010 Economic Digest   December 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
The Geography of Connecticut Labor Market Dynamics Download December 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

The labor market is dynamic. Even during the worst months of the recession, when nationally jobs on net were declining by approximately 800,000 per month, there were still approximately four million new hires. Of course, there were even more separations, which is why total employment declined on net – but the number of separations was actually lower during the recession than during the previous period of job growth. In times of strong growth, approximately five million workers lose or leave their jobs every month. [ read more ]  

Connecticut GDP Declines in 2009 Download December 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Lincoln S. Dyer, Economist, Department of Labor & Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, DOL, Jungmin.Joo@ct.gov

Connecticut’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the most comprehensive measure of total economic activity or value added in the state, was down as expected in 2009. On both a real (chained 2005 dollars) and current dollar basis, Connecticut GDP declined. The decrease in real CT GDP, which considers inflation’s impact, was -3.1%, while the drop in current dollar GDP fell 1.2% from 2008 estimates.* Connecticut’s real GDP was estimated at $205.7 billion and current dollar value GDP was calculated at $227.4 billion. [ read more ]  

Download November 2010 Economic Digest   November 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
The Face of the Long-Term Unemployed Download November 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Manisha Srivastava, Economist, Department of Labor

After much political debate, Congress approved extending unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term unemployed until November 30, 2010. The extended Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program is 100% federally funded. This is in contrast to the regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) program that is fully State funded. The EUC program is a newly created program as of June 30, 2008 in response to the current financial crisis. It is the first time in the 75-year history of UC that benefits have been extended for up to 99 weeks.

The UC program provides unemployment compensation for a maximum of 26 weeks to eligible claimants. In the event of high unemployment rates a program called Extended Benefits (EB) triggers on, which extends unemployment compensation for another 13 to 20 weeks depending on the unemployment rate. Each week a federally mandated formula is used to calculate whether the current economic conditions warrant a State trigger onto EB. EB is 50% state funded and 50% federally funded. Before this current recession, the last time Connecticut entered onto EB status was in early 1981. [ read more ] 

Download October 2010 Economic Digest   October 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
Pharmacist Employment Outlook Delivers a Dose of Brightness Download October 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Sarah York, Economist, Department of Labor

Pharmacists have long played an important role in the healthcare industry. While physicians diagnose a patient’s ailments and prescribe medicine to treat it, pharmacists are responsible for distributing that medicine in a safe and accurate manner. As their careers evolve, pharmacists have been expanding their duties. With the increases in job responsibilities and the strong reliance the healthcare industry has on pharmacists, the job outlook remains strong. [ read more ] 

West Hartford: One of the Ten Best Cities in the Country Download October 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

Incorporated on May 3rd 1854, West Hartford is a town of 63,908 and encompasses 22.4 square miles, situated exactly 98 miles from both Boston and New York City. Quiet suburban neighborhoods of early-mid twentieth century colonial style single-family homes typify much of the town. West Hartford Center, a thriving downtown commercial district, has in recent years become a popular location for commerce and recreation in central Connecticut. An extensive network of town parks, pools, theatre groups, golf courses and a skating rink helps to ensure the availability of year-round recreation and a high quality of life. [ read more ] 

Download September 2010 Economic Digest   September 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
It's Not Easy Defining Green (with apologies to Kermit the Frog) Download September 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

Concern about the environment, unstable world energy markets, a desire to find new and creative ways to grow the economy, and significant public investment have kept interest high in the definition of “green jobs.” Approximately $60 billion of the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress in 2009 was devoted to green activities. Data available on the Governor’s website show over $200 million in grants to state agencies and another $200 million in tax credits and grants to other entities in Connecticut in the areas of energy and the environment from the stimulus legislation.

However, a definitive definition of “green jobs” remains elusive. As noted by the Federal Register on the March 16, 2010, “There is no widely accepted standard definition of ‘green jobs.’” Fortunately, the lack of a consensus definition has not prevented continued research efforts in this area, the development of policies to promote the green economy, nor the efforts of those working to grow the economy in a sustainable way. Indeed the work to define green jobs can provide insight into this set of economic activities. [ read more ] 

Download August 2010 Economic Digest   August 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Employment and Wages: A 2009 Review Download August 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Edward T. Doukas, Jr., Research Analyst, Department of Labor

The recessionary impacts on Connecticut’s economy that began being felt during the second half of 2008 took full effect in 2009. Connecticut’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment dropped 4.3 percent during 2009 (Table, pp. 2-3). Records going back as far as 1969 show 2009’s percentage decline was the second largest only behind the 5 percent drop that occurred during 1991.

Another indicator of the economic woes the State faced in 2009 was that the average annual wage of Connecticut workers ($57,755) decreased from the previous year ($58,334). A review of data dating back as far as 1969 shows that this was only the second time this anomaly has occurred. The only other year that annual pay per employee decreased was 2002. [ read more ] 

Download July 2010 Economic Digest   July 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
State’s Housing Troubles Continued in 2009 Download July 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Kolie Sun, Senior Research Analyst, Department of Economic and Community Development

The Connecticut and U.S. economies experienced financial turmoil that began in the fall of 2008 and continued into the Great Recession of 2009. Nearly all sectors felt the adverse impacts of the recession, which resulted in higher unemployment, declining personal income and corporate revenues and weakened consumer confidence. The housing sector is a major contributor to the economic turmoil in 2009, as this analysis of the state’s residential permit activities,home prices and foreclosures will clearly show. [ read more ] 

Connecticut Personal Income Pulls Through in First Quarter Download July 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Lincoln S. Dyer, Economist, Department of Labor and Matthew Krzyzek, Economist, Department of Labor

Connecticut personal income growth at 0.6% trailed national personal income growth of 0.9% and New England income growth of 0.8% in the first quarter of 2010. Personal income of $193.037 billion (current dollars, quarterly annualized rate) was the second consecutive quarterly increase, after increasing 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Comparable and adjacent states like New York (0.9%), New Jersey (0.8%), Massachusetts (0.7%), Maryland (0.8%), Pennsylvania (0.8%) and Rhode Island (0.9%) all experienced slightly faster growth than Connecticut during the first quarter. Connecticut ranked 44th by state, in the lowest quintile, in this quarter’s personal income growth. [ read more ] 

Download June 2010 Economic Digest   June 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
Forecast to 2011: Navigating the Crosscurrents Download June 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

On May 6, 2010, the Dow plunged nearly 1,000 points until recovering to close down 347.80 (-3.20%) points, an unpleasant reminder of 2008. Despite the infamous "fat finger" glitch and model-driven threshold selling, the underlying driver of the market's gyrations was the sovereign debt crisis centered on Greece. It is a stark reminder that the world's financial system is still very fragile. On the other hand, the U.S. jobs report for April 2010, which came out the next day, showed that the national economy had added 290,000 jobs in April the best monthly performance in four years. These two events highlight the strong crosscurrents that are pulling the economy, both up and down at the same time, as this apparent turning point proceeds.  [ read more ] 

Download May 2010 Economic Digest   May 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
Unemployment Insurance Supports the State’s Economy Download May 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Daniel W. Kennedy, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Department of Labor

There are two sets of objectives addressed by the unemployment insurance system. The primary objectives are aimed directly at providing financial help to workers during temporary periods of involuntary unemployment, thereby reducing the economic insecurity faced by individuals and their families. The secondary objectives are to promote economic stability and efficiency. The focus of this article is on the role of unemployment insurance (UI) as an automatic stabilizer for the economy, to dampen the amplitude of the business cycle. By design, automatic stabilizers dampen fluctuations in economic activity as those fluctuations occur. Unemployment insurance works by putting a floor under the fall in consumers’ disposable income. It provides eligible unemployed workers with temporary benefit payments, thereby cushioning their decline in disposable personal income.  [ read more ] 

Download April 2010 Economic Digest   April 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
Exports: Opportunities for Economic Growth Download April 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Laura Jaworski, Office of International and Domestic Affairs, Department of Economic and Community Development

During his January 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama announced a goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years. To reach this goal, the President unveiled a National Export Initiative (NEI) that focuses on three key areas: (1) expanding trade advocacy and educating companies about overseas market opportunities; (2) improving businesses’ access to credit and (3) enforcing international trade laws and removing unfair tariff and non-tariff barriers that prevent U.S. companies from entering foreign markets. [ read more ] 

United States Census Brings Temporary Federal Jobs Download April 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Lincoln S. Dyer, Economist, Department of Labor

By now most Connecticut households have received their 2010 Census forms. Advanced notifications were sent out in early March, followed soon after by the official 2010 Census forms. The 2010 Census forms were projected to arrive at U.S. residences in late March, to be completed and customarily returned in April. April 1st is National Census Day, and some newly hired census takers were expected to start late on March 31st with a rural canvassing and an urban homeless headcount campaign. Then a labor-intensive address follow-up and localized information drive is normally planned for May through July. By mid-summer, the short-term local economic impacts of the Census will be all but over. An evaluation of federal government civilian employment for Connecticut over the last four decades shows the U.S. Census employment buildup that occurs once every ten years in the state seems to follow this basic pattern. [ read more ] 

Download March 2010 Economic Digest   March 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
Connecticut Recession to End in December 2009? Download March 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

The Great Recession II that began in March 2008 may finally be over for Connecticut. The newly revised nonfarm employment data appears to show December 2009 to be the bottom of this treacherous economic downturn. While we added 2,300 jobs in January, and need to see how the next several months will pan out, it appears that our State’s economy has begun to rebound. Connecticut’s year-over-year percent changes in employment began to decline at a slower rate starting in September 2009, and recovery in terms of output has already begun nationally. The State’s average weekly initial claims data peaked in March 2009 and has been trending down. The stock market also bottomed out in March last year and corporate profits have rebounded. Even last year’s employment trend in the Connecticut employment services industry, a leading indicator of our State’s total nonfarm employment, appears to have bottomed out. However, while the prospects of employment dropping below December 2009’s level is not anticipated, the uncertain nature of the economy warrants a cautious approach, as both the national and Connecticut’s recovery remain tenuous at best. [ read more ] 

New Hours and Earnings Data Available Download March 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Lincoln S. Dyer, Economist, Department of Labor

After three years of exploratory development at the Office of Research, real-time monthly hours and earnings estimates for all private industries in the state and the six largest Connecticut labor market areas have been formally introduced. These newly available All Employee Hours and Earnings series from the employer payroll survey include the average hourly earnings, the average weekly hours employed, and the total average weekly earnings for most of Connecticut’s private sector nonfarm workforce. [ read more ] 

Download February 2010 Economic Digest   February 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
Last but not Dead Download February 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Patrick.Flaherty, Economist, Department of Labor

Several media stories have reported that “Connecticut’s job growth ranks dead last in the nation.” The truth of this statement depends on the answer to the question, “since when?” For example, if the period used to calculate job growth is February 1989 to December 2009 then the statement is true. Payroll employment in Connecticut is down more than 3.5% from where it was more than 20 years ago, giving us the worst job performance in the country. On this measure, Connecticut is below even Michigan (down about 1.4%) and Rhode Island (down 2.1%) with the rest of the nation showing gains. [ read more ] 

Measures of Labor Underutilization Download February 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Salvatore DiPillo, Associate Research Analyst, Department of Labor

In the November 2009 issue of the Digest we began publishing for Connecticut, in addition to the official unemployment rate, the most comprehensive measure of labor underutilization. Referred to as the “U-6” by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which sets the definition of the labor force, employment and unemployment and the methodologies for measuring these, it is just one of six measures of unemployment for the nation and the states. [ read more ] 

Download January 2010 Economic Digest   January 2010 Connecticut Economic Digest
The Connecticut Economic Outlook for 2010 Download January 2010 CT Economic Digest PDF ]
By Stan McMillen, Ph.D., Managing Economist, DECD and Mark Prisloe, Associate Economist, Department of Economic and Community Development

The Nation. In 2010, the U.S. economy will begin recovering from the current severe recession that began in December 2007. This outlook is supported by historic experience and recent positive developments. Since World War II, the average length of U.S. recessions has been 10.5 months with the longest lasting 16 months. The current recession is already longer and some observers consider it to have ended in the third quarter of 2009 (Q3-2009). They note that quarter-over-quarter real gross domestic product (RGDP) grew at an annualized rate of 2.8% from Q2-2009 according to the revised estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In Q2-2009, RGDP declined by 0.7%, moderating from Q1-2009 when RGDP declined by 6.4%. [ read more ]  

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