June 2018 Connecticut Economic Digest

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2017 Unemployment Rate by Town

By Jungmin Charles Joo and Dana Placzek, DOL

2016 to 2017

Out of 169 cities and towns in the state, the rate fell in 152, rose in 9, and 8 were unchanged in 2017. On the other hand, 159 were down, 3 were up, and 7 remained the same in 2016. Canaan had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.8%, while the residents of Hartford experienced the highest rate of 8.1% last year. See Table for the complete town data. The annual average statewide unemployment rate in 2017 was 4.7%, down from 5.1% in 2016. Overall, a total of 126 cities and towns had jobless rates below the statewide figure of 4.7%, 37 had rates above it, and six had rates equal to it last year. By comparison, there were 124 cities and towns that had rates below the statewide average of 5.1%, 39 above it, and six the same.

Of the five largest cities in the state with a 2010 Census population of 100,000 or more, Stamford, had the lowest unemployment rate of 4.1% in 2017. Hartford posted the highest jobless rate among the large cities at 8.1%, but also had the largest decrease over the year (-1.1 percentage points). All five cities experienced over-the-year unemployment rate decreases. The map also shows the range of unemployment rates each town was in last year.

Town Unemployment Rate Diffusion Index

The Town Unemployment Rate Diffusion Index is calculated by subtracting the share of towns that experienced increases in their unemployment rates from the share that had rate decreases over the year.

As expected, during 2009-2010, the index values were negative, when Connecticut was in an economic recession. Last year’s diffusion index value of +85 suggests a seventh year of economic recovery, when most towns in Connecticut experienced a decrease in the unemployment rate. However, as shown in the chart, last year marked the second year of a declining growth rate, which suggests a further slowdown in the state’s economic recovery.

Chart: Connecticut Town Unemployment Rate Diffusion Index, 2009-2017

Table: Annual Average Unemployment Rate by Town, 2013-2017

Map: Connecticut Town Unemployment Rate, 2017

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