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Connecticut Economic Digest: February 2006 issue
Stamford tops in labor force and establishments | Occupation Profile | Lights, Sound, Action! Movie, TV and Sound Production in CT

Stamford tops in labor force and establishments
By Jungmin Charles Joo and Dana Placzek, Research Analysts, DOL

The table below profiles all of Connecticut's 169 cities and towns using five economic indicators for 2004. Below are brief highlights from the latest annual average data prepared by the Connecticut Department of Labor's Office of Research.

Labor Force

Stamford once again had the largest resident labor force of 65,138, while the smallest was Union with 449 persons in 2004. Only about one out of five towns experienced increases in labor force from 2003. Overall, the statewide labor force fell by 0.4 percent from a year earlier.

Unemployment Rate

Hartford's 9.9 percent was again the highest unemployment rate last year, but that was down from 11.3 percent in 2003. Colebrook posted the lowest jobless rate of 2.4 percent in 2004. The statewide rate decreased from 5.5 percent in 2003 to 4.9 percent in 2004.

Establishments

The total number of business establishments in Connecticut rose by 0.5 percent to 109,644 last year. Stamford continued to have the largest number of establishments, with 5,046 units in 2004, an increase of 0.2 percent over the year. Greenwich, Hartford, Norwalk, and New Haven rounded the top five with the greatest number of firms.

Employment

Last year's average statewide employment rose by 0.4 percent. Stamford, Norwalk and Waterbury were among 104 cities and towns that experienced employment gains over the year.

Wages

The highest annual wage was paid to employees of firms located in Greenwich, $105,362, a 9.2 percent increase from 2003. Hartford placed fifth, the only city among the top five not located in Fairfield County. The statewide average was $50,992 per worker, a 5.5 percent increase over 2003.

Data for previous years appeared in the July 1999, July 2001, September 2002, October 2003, and October 2004 issues of the Digest, which can be accessed through Connecticut Department of Labor's Web site, http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi/misc/ctdigest.htm.

2004 Connecticut town economic data and 2003 to 2004 percent changes
Town By Place of Residence By Place of Work
Labor Force Unemp. Rate Establishments Employment Avg. Wage
2004 % 2003 2004 2004 % 2004 % 2004 %
Connecticut 1,797,344 -0.4 5.5 4.9 109,644 0.5 1,631,743 0.4 $50,992 5.5
Andover 1,899 -0.7 4.5 3.5 59 -1.7 527 62.7 $27,597 -2.9
Ansonia 9,769 -1.3 7.1 5.8 337 -3.4 3,744 0.4 $36,108 9.2
Ashford 2,460 -0.3 4.4 3.7 59 -1.7 469 0.6 $24,985 0.8
Avon 8,651 0.1 3.6 3.4 727 -0.5 8,864 0.3 $38,128 1.3
Barkhamsted 2,158 0.5 5.0 5.1 84 6.3 624 3.1 $33,108 2.8
Beacon Falls 3,156 -0.5 5.5 4.8 105 2.9 906 -0.8 $39,674 1.6
Berlin 10,565 -0.3 4.7 4.1 669 0.1 11,378 2.2 $45,664 2.5
Bethany 2,918 0.1 3.8 3.6 130 0.0 1,068 6.4 $41,097 0.9
Bethel 10,701 -0.1 4.0 3.7 589 -0.7 6,619 1.8 $46,713 3.0
Bethlehem 2,018 0.0 4.2 3.6 101 0.0 604 2.7 $26,847 -4.7
Bloomfield 9,447 -0.4 6.9 6.2 793 -1.9 15,840 -1.2 $58,912 7.1
Bolton 2,985 -0.3 4.0 3.4 114 -0.9 1,092 0.0 $33,528 3.7
Bozrah 1,438 -0.4 4.9 4.5 79 8.2 1,100 6.2 $35,172 3.1
Branford 16,885 -0.1 4.5 4.0 1,134 -0.3 12,967 -1.5 $39,438 2.7
Bridgeport 61,738 -1.4 9.0 7.8 2,385 -2.2 45,568 -2.3 $43,171 3.6
Bridgewater 1,021 0.0 3.2 2.9 54 -6.9 244 1.2 $49,494 -7.5
Bristol 33,052 -0.3 6.1 5.5 1,245 1.5 21,284 4.2 $42,192 3.0
Brookfield 8,776 -0.2 4.0 3.5 665 1.2 7,429 3.1 $39,056 7.4
Brooklyn 3,590 -0.3 4.5 4.5 135 0.0 1,344 2.0 $31,031 2.3
Burlington 5,031 0.0 4.3 3.9 149 -1.3 1,176 1.6 $34,190 2.4
Canaan 609 0.7 4.1 4.1 82 -9.9 766 -13.5 $33,920 1.4
Canterbury 3,043 0.0 4.8 4.8 74 10.4 571 -3.9 $31,473 8.1
Canton 5,253 -0.1 4.3 3.9 360 3.4 2,703 16.1 $35,369 -4.5
Chaplin 1,345 0.4 4.9 5.0 39 5.4 298 15.5 $27,938 -0.9
Cheshire 14,318 0.2 4.0 3.8 899 0.9 14,568 -2.1 $47,694 6.0
Chester 2,216 0.0 3.8 3.4 139 -3.5 1,976 1.3 $35,777 0.4
Clinton 7,743 -0.1 4.2 3.8 405 1.3 4,135 -4.7 $49,637 8.9
Colchester 8,397 0.1 4.6 4.4 347 0.0 3,460 -0.2 $34,091 2.6
Colebrook 822 0.4 2.8 2.4 29 -12.1 211 -2.8 $27,032 9.7
Columbia 2,913 0.5 3.9 4.0 123 4.2 1,097 11.3 $35,613 1.2
Cornwall 816 -0.2 3.8 2.8 101 -2.9 448 -4.3 $27,565 11.1
Coventry 6,773 -0.2 4.8 4.2 181 0.0 1,275 5.6 $31,662 -2.4
Cromwell 7,545 -0.2 4.7 4.2 385 1.6 6,147 0.0 $31,635 4.6
Danbury 43,068 -0.2 4.5 4.0 2,469 0.2 42,708 -0.2 $49,752 5.4
Darien 8,748 -0.5 3.7 3.1 899 -1.5 7,186 -4.9 $58,494 8.2
Deep River 2,536 -0.3 4.5 3.9 127 1.6 1,351 -2.7 $37,482 8.5
Derby 6,776 -0.8 6.7 5.9 346 2.1 5,329 7.6 $30,968 -1.2
Durham 4,021 -0.5 4.2 3.3 168 5.0 1,723 1.4 $39,421 0.9
                     
Town By Place of Residence By Place of Work
Labor Force Unemp. Rate Establishments Employment Avg. Wage
2004 % 2003 2004 2004 % 2004 % 2004 %
East Granby 2,791 -0.3 4.3 3.6 203 -0.5 2,892 10.5 $48,380 4.4
East Haddam 4,950 -0.1 4.5 4.0 158 -4.8 1,419 -1.3 $30,523 3.6
East Hampton 6,389 -0.6 6.2 5.3 217 0.5 1,839 0.5 $32,155 7.1
East Hartford 25,007 -0.6 7.4 6.5 1,189 -0.8 29,121 0.4 $54,525 2.3
East Haven 15,682 -0.1 5.7 5.3 555 1.3 6,912 2.8 $34,088 3.3
East Lyme 9,474 -0.4 4.1 3.7 461 -1.1 4,806 -1.6 $36,623 7.5
East Windsor 5,810 -1.4 6.1 5.2 418 -1.9 6,637 0.9 $34,456 3.0
Eastford 916 -0.1 4.3 3.8 44 -2.2 474 8.2 $38,852 3.5
Easton 3,666 -0.3 3.5 3.2 207 2.5 874 5.3 $37,533 6.1
Ellington 8,238 0.3 4.0 3.9 273 4.2 2,535 0.2 $37,007 7.0
Enfield 23,401 -1.0 5.7 5.1 945 1.5 18,862 1.5 $39,735 6.9
Essex 3,698 0.1 3.8 3.6 386 -0.5 3,566 3.0 $41,325 6.8
Fairfield 27,941 -0.5 4.4 3.9 2,140 -0.2 23,147 0.9 $51,402 0.4
Farmington 12,334 -0.2 4.5 3.9 1,186 1.3 28,358 -1.6 $49,805 4.0
Franklin 1,161 -0.6 4.1 3.5 76 7.0 1,294 2.0 $36,905 5.6
Glastonbury 17,513 -0.2 3.9 3.3 1,227 0.1 14,940 1.1 $45,715 1.0
Goshen 1,515 0.7 4.3 4.4 112 -0.9 406 -4.7 $32,755 5.8
Granby 5,963 -0.2 4.0 3.5 234 1.7 2,072 0.8 $30,675 4.5
Greenwich 29,377 -0.4 3.5 3.1 3,913 0.1 34,814 -4.1 $105,362 9.2
Griswold 6,884 -0.5 5.4 4.8 171 9.6 1,867 2.9 $27,721 0.9
Groton 18,946 -0.4 5.0 4.6 981 1.3 25,723 -2.3 $59,049 8.9
Guilford 12,441 0.1 3.4 3.2 721 -0.1 6,524 -0.8 $35,593 1.9
Haddam 4,538 -0.1 3.9 3.5 185 0.5 1,422 11.4 $43,305 8.0
Hamden 30,238 -0.2 5.0 4.5 1,509 0.0 20,394 3.3 $38,039 3.2
Hampton 1,080 -0.6 5.5 4.5 32 -5.9 501 -8.2 $28,664 14.4
Hartford 47,686 -1.1 11.3 9.9 3,388 1.0 113,220 -1.0 $65,252 12.7
Hartland 1,165 0.3 4.0 3.9 43 7.5 133 -0.7 $35,678 0.3
Harwinton 3,046 0.4 4.6 4.6 109 -0.9 609 6.8 $39,307 2.3
Hebron 5,234 -0.1 4.0 3.6 189 1.1 1,692 2.8 $28,525 -3.1
Kent 1,575 0.3 3.8 3.4 169 4.3 1,239 -0.2 $33,028 1.9
Killingly 8,926 -1.5 7.5 6.4 470 2.2 8,065 2.9 $39,863 8.9
Killingworth 3,458 -0.1 3.6 3.2 144 7.5 618 -14.2 $42,879 -0.1
Lebanon 4,087 0.0 4.5 4.2 100 8.7 1,230 3.7 $28,250 0.5
Ledyard 8,321 -0.4 4.0 3.6 219 3.8 14,603 1.2 $34,971 1.1
Lisbon 2,520 -0.5 4.7 4.2 86 17.8 1,573 18.4 $23,121 -0.8
Litchfield 4,324 0.6 4.3 4.1 405 -1.7 3,442 2.8 $32,553 2.4
Lyme 1,129 -0.7 3.8 3.1 52 -10.3 152 1.3 $42,295 0.7
                     
Town By Place of Residence By Place of Work
Labor Force Unemp. Rate Establishments Employment Avg. Wage
2004 % 2003 2004 2004 % 2004 % 2004 %
Madison 9,728 0.2 3.2 3.1 605 0.0 5,126 -4.8 $36,510 7.3
Manchester 30,926 -0.4 5.5 4.7 1,565 1.2 27,948 -0.4 $37,223 4.8
Mansfield 11,891 0.5 3.3 3.4 348 -1.4 10,465 0.5 $36,468 4.6
Marlborough 3,404 -0.1 4.3 3.8 155 5.4 1,283 1.7 $32,247 3.5
Meriden 30,449 -0.6 6.7 5.8 1,329 1.8 24,929 4.0 $40,855 4.9
Middlebury 3,612 -0.2 4.3 3.8 230 -1.3 3,420 -1.3 $51,428 0.9
Middlefield 2,330 -0.8 5.3 4.2 132 -0.8 1,682 -0.6 $44,467 7.3
Middletown 25,455 -0.5 5.5 4.6 1,199 3.3 29,988 3.1 $54,737 6.5
Milford 30,313 -0.4 4.8 4.4 1,872 2.6 28,319 2.3 $42,291 7.1
Monroe 10,351 -0.8 4.4 3.5 635 0.0 6,984 2.2 $34,468 1.1
Montville 10,729 -0.5 4.7 4.2 305 1.0 14,732 -2.1 $34,327 6.6
Morris 1,309 0.5 4.4 4.2 74 8.8 370 7.9 $23,304 -2.5
Naugatuck 16,877 -0.7 6.6 5.6 560 1.6 7,835 0.6 $35,730 3.0
New Britain 34,063 -0.3 8.3 7.7 1,113 -0.4 23,249 0.0 $44,009 3.6
New Canaan 8,628 -0.3 3.2 2.9 928 -0.4 6,380 5.5 $60,924 11.1
New Fairfield 7,496 -0.2 3.9 3.4 238 -0.4 1,560 1.8 $38,659 -1.0
New Hartford 3,606 0.6 4.5 4.7 162 2.5 1,370 -11.4 $30,921 5.3
New Haven 53,916 -0.4 7.7 7.0 2,926 -0.5 73,834 -1.1 $49,414 3.6
New London 13,469 -0.2 6.3 6.0 819 -0.5 16,002 0.3 $47,823 2.5
New Milford 15,988 0.0 4.0 3.7 801 1.1 8,720 -1.7 $39,708 3.0
Newington 16,202 -0.3 5.0 4.3 921 -0.6 16,478 1.6 $39,340 3.2
Newtown 13,601 -0.3 3.7 3.5 722 4.9 7,588 2.7 $42,801 0.2
Norfolk 958 1.2 3.9 4.4 96 7.9 431 7.8 $27,750 2.3
North Branford 8,023 -0.2 4.6 4.0 359 -0.3 4,686 1.4 $42,538 5.5
North Canaan 1,730 0.3 4.4 4.0 136 9.7 2,099 12.1 $38,648 4.5
North Haven 12,557 0.0 4.2 3.9 1,039 0.2 20,721 2.9 $45,445 3.1
North Stonington 3,185 -0.1 3.8 3.6 126 -8.0 1,288 -3.7 $34,837 2.1
Norwalk 47,394 -0.5 4.8 4.3 3,153 -0.5 42,465 0.5 $55,752 3.2
Norwich 20,172 -0.6 6.1 5.5 988 -2.3 16,865 -4.5 $37,917 5.5
Old Lyme 4,162 -0.5 3.8 3.2 256 2.8 2,491 3.2 $35,453 5.5
Old Saybrook 5,327 -0.3 4.3 3.7 599 0.7 5,773 0.1 $34,581 7.0
Orange 6,913 0.1 3.7 3.4 585 2.3 9,972 3.7 $34,406 -5.0
Oxford 6,166 -1.0 4.7 3.7 275 1.9 2,183 10.3 $41,195 0.3
Plainfield 8,093 -1.0 7.0 6.4 317 2.9 3,851 -7.1 $29,104 -0.9
Plainville 9,900 -0.7 6.1 5.1 557 -2.1 9,132 0.4 $44,150 0.4
Plymouth 6,605 -0.9 6.6 5.4 224 0.0 2,048 1.1 $36,991 4.8
Pomfret 2,132 -0.6 4.3 4.0 129 0.8 1,516 -3.2 $34,042 5.0
Portland 5,054 -0.5 5.1 4.3 251 0.4 2,883 -5.1 $38,485 -2.6
Preston 2,750 -0.5 4.3 3.7 102 3.0 785 0.8 $31,597 0.9
Prospect 5,153 -0.7 5.1 4.1 219 3.8 2,121 -0.6 $32,749 5.4
Putnam 4,961 -0.4 6.0 5.5 342 -0.9 6,193 2.6 $38,118 -9.4
Redding 4,414 -0.5 3.7 3.2 244 -4.3 1,572 17.4 $33,458 -15.0
Ridgefield 11,455 -0.1 3.4 3.2 972 -0.7 9,099 0.4 $61,069 6.4
Rocky Hill 10,298 -0.3 4.8 4.2 742 3.8 12,371 -2.0 $47,528 3.2
Roxbury 1,340 0.8 2.6 2.7 96 6.7 301 5.6 $33,806 -7.1
                     
Town By Place of Residence By Place of Work
Labor Force Unemp. Rate Establishments Employment Avg. Wage
2004 % 2003 2004 2004 % 2004 % 2004 %
Salem 2,502 -0.8 4.2 3.4 94 6.8 730 -5.6 $27,826 -5.2
Salisbury 1,985 1.4 3.0 3.6 230 -2.5 2,038 -2.0 $33,939 7.5
Scotland 930 -0.1 3.1 2.6 29 0.0 136 -4.9 $27,132 3.4
Seymour 8,870 -0.9 5.4 4.6 321 -0.3 4,406 0.5 $37,677 5.7
Sharon 1,546 0.6 2.9 2.7 156 -4.3 1,198 5.1 $42,861 -1.3
Shelton 21,872 -0.8 5.2 4.4 1,142 2.3 20,490 -3.8 $64,928 -0.8
Sherman 2,092 0.3 2.8 2.9 100 2.0 460 9.3 $35,406 2.9
Simsbury 11,680 0.1 3.8 3.5 637 -1.1 11,172 0.0 $54,068 7.3
Somers 4,546 -1.2 5.1 4.4 216 4.9 2,216 3.2 $41,594 5.2
South Windsor 13,968 -0.1 4.2 3.7 844 2.6 11,580 0.5 $45,349 0.2
Southbury 8,674 -0.3 4.3 4.0 583 2.6 9,627 1.0 $57,073 3.3
Southington 23,132 -0.2 5.0 4.5 1,102 1.0 15,301 -0.9 $37,131 4.4
Sprague 1,777 -0.3 6.3 6.0 53 -3.6 722 -5.7 $39,881 6.2
Stafford 6,596 -0.1 5.3 4.9 238 -5.6 3,964 0.0 $33,772 5.2
Stamford 65,138 -0.5 4.6 4.1 5,046 0.2 76,260 0.6 $100,739 10.2
Sterling 1,797 -1.4 6.0 4.9 56 3.7 392 -0.8 $31,743 4.4
Stonington 10,241 -0.5 3.7 3.1 692 2.2 6,939 1.0 $31,603 3.5
Stratford 25,638 -0.7 5.9 5.2 1,333 -0.2 24,813 2.1 $49,229 0.9
Suffield 6,859 -0.6 4.6 4.4 325 1.9 4,036 3.8 $35,150 2.2
Thomaston 4,482 -0.4 5.9 5.2 232 0.0 2,892 -2.9 $40,874 3.9
Thompson 5,136 -0.7 5.8 5.1 152 1.3 1,412 -0.9 $30,578 3.0
Tolland 7,922 0.1 3.8 3.5 293 1.0 3,816 12.7 $40,841 -1.8
Torrington 18,956 -0.2 6.4 6.0 1,017 1.5 15,753 0.3 $37,394 1.1
Trumbull 17,400 -0.5 4.3 3.9 953 1.1 16,618 0.9 $59,125 25.4
Union 449 0.0 3.6 3.1 20 11.1 125 0.8 $22,900 0.2
Vernon 16,607 -0.2 5.2 4.6 689 -1.4 9,232 0.4 $32,542 1.1
Voluntown 1,574 -0.1 4.9 4.8 48 4.3 292 -5.8 $27,597 10.0
Wallingford 24,315 -0.4 4.9 4.1 1,432 0.6 26,394 2.0 $47,664 5.9
Warren 706 0.4 3.3 3.1 41 2.5 158 12.9 $42,042 7.3
Washington 1,953 0.5 4.0 3.7 228 -1.7 1,530 -0.6 $37,197 2.0
Waterbury 49,557 -1.0 8.7 7.6 2,380 -0.2 41,643 1.3 $38,478 2.8
Waterford 10,359 -0.4 4.5 4.1 605 3.2 11,131 1.8 $36,997 0.4
Watertown 12,171 -0.4 5.4 4.7 541 -3.2 8,824 -1.6 $38,160 1.1
West Hartford 28,782 -0.1 4.9 4.5 1,828 -0.1 26,384 -0.4 $38,280 2.8
West Haven 28,834 -0.1 5.8 5.4 941 0.3 16,373 0.4 $44,264 4.1
Westbrook 3,560 -0.3 4.6 3.9 244 4.3 3,336 12.1 $34,697 4.3
Weston 4,791 -0.3 3.3 3.0 308 2.0 1,419 7.7 $47,515 -1.3
Westport 12,247 -0.3 3.6 3.3 1,909 -0.4 16,048 -0.9 $79,181 8.4
Wethersfield 13,150 0.0 5.0 4.7 703 -0.4 9,824 1.0 $42,793 4.4
Willington 3,804 0.0 4.0 3.7 111 3.7 864 -2.9 $30,586 1.9
Wilton 8,136 -0.4 3.7 3.3 920 2.1 10,130 2.6 $99,304 21.0
Winchester 6,034 -0.1 7.1 6.3 340 -0.6 3,585 -2.4 $34,541 -1.8
Windham 11,289 -0.6 6.6 6.3 557 1.3 10,216 -1.2 $34,352 4.5
Windsor 15,619 -0.4 5.7 4.9 739 2.2 18,431 -1.4 $58,555 12.1
Windsor Locks 6,767 -1.0 5.6 5.0 428 0.7 14,708 0.8 $49,722 5.2
Wolcott 8,760 -0.5 5.3 4.5 316 -0.3 3,018 -0.4 $34,518 5.2
Woodbridge 4,776 -0.1 3.4 3.3 350 -2.8 3,640 6.7 $33,988 -5.5
Woodbury 5,399 0.1 4.0 3.4 337 -1.2 2,431 2.3 $33,220 1.3
Woodstock 4,274 -0.7 4.8 4.0 166 1.8 1,827 2.8 $34,184 2.3

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Occupation Profile: Mechanical Engineers
By Brandon T. Hooker, M.P.A., Research Analyst, DOL

Achievements in mechanical engineering influence the lives of Connecticut's residents on a daily basis. Whether it is the development of the Connecticut Convention Center or cutting edge advances in nanotechnology, mechanical engineers have had a hand in all of them. This engineering discipline is in demand across various industries because its principles carry over into other fields such as: architecture, chemistry, and computer science. This year's crop of mechanical engineering college graduates will enter a healthy labor market that presents them with employment opportunities in both large, established firms and small, fast paced start-ups.

Nature of the Job

The daily responsibilities of a mechanical engineer can vary, depending upon the industry and function of the job. For example, those employed in the Transportation Equipment Manufacturing industry are often involved in the design, development, and/or sale of aerospace materials, alternative energy systems (i.e., fuel cells), and/or jet turbine engines, just to name a few. Engineers may also apply their knowledge of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) to transform their ideas into marketable products for the Construction and Metal Manufacturing industries. Engineering professionals in Connecticut's burgeoning nanotechnology industry are also involved in creating high-performance materials and components by manipulating atoms and molecules.

Education and Skills Necessary for Employment

For most entry-level positions, those aspiring to work in this field must attain a bachelor's of science degree in mechanical engineering. Once hired, employees are encouraged to enhance their knowledge of the subject area through a master's or doctorate program. In addition to a degree, employers are also looking for job candidates with significant experience in mechanical engineering or a related field. According to the U.S. News and World Report of America's Best Colleges 2006, Connecticut houses public and private universities that provide some of the best undergraduate and graduate training in this field. In addition, Central Connecticut State University recently announced its plans to add mechanical engineering to the list of programs offered at its school of technology by Fall 2006.

On the whole, employers seeking to hire mechanical engineers through Connecticut's Job Bank demanded mastery of the following skill sets: Assembly, Communication, Engineering and Mechanical Design, and Mechanics. The employers' ideal candidate will also possess the ability to assess and solve problems, demonstrate leadership qualities, organize and plan daily activities, and work independently or within a team atmosphere.

Associated Salary

The average annual earnings of mechanical engineers in Connecticut stood at $69,869 in 2005. Approximately 80 percent of this skilled workforce earned between $24.30 and $44.77 per hour in that given year. Job candidates hired into entry-level openings received starting offers that hovered around $53,000 per year.

Nationally, according to a 2003 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, bachelor's degree candidates in mechanical engineering received starting offers averaging $48,585 a year, master's degree candidates had offers averaging $54,565, and Ph.D. candidates were initially offered $69,904.

National and Statewide Forecast Summary

In 2004, roughly 226,000 mechanical engineers were employed in the United States, a number the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to rise over 11 percent (251,000) by 2014. A majority of them will be employed in our nation's demand-driven, manufacturing sector which is forecasted to experience continued employment declines, but eventually level off in the later part of the 2004-2014 period. Despite this trend, some "employment bright spots" will emerge, such as in the Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing industry that is forecasted to add jobs due to the increased demand for fuel-efficient aircraft and continued attention to the Nation's security.

In 2004, Connecticut had over 6,230 workers employed in this field, a majority concentrated in the Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing, Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services, and Ship and Boat Building industries. Mechanical engineers are slated to grow at a nominal pace through 2012, yet provide over 150 job openings annually due to increased demand for finished goods and the need to replace senior engineers leaving the workforce.

Additional Resources

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers-www.ashrae.org

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)-www.asme.org

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)-www.sae.org

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Lights, Sound, Action! Movie, TV and Sound Production in CT
By Pat McPherron, Ph.D. and Lincoln S. Dyer, Economists, DOL

If natural resources, physical and human capital are geographically concentrated, then the economic environment is primed for clustering. In particular, Professor Porter of the Harvard Business School argues that regions with skilled workers benefiting from informational spillovers are rich in human capital, ideal for sustainable wealth creation.

One such economic sector with high potential benefits from increased clustering in Connecticut encompasses news and entertainment production industries. There are strong informational spillovers from the New York-Boston corridor-based theatrical and screen actors, actresses, extras, technicians and production crews.

We identified the following industries as part of the Movie/TV/Sound Production cluster: motion picture and sound recording industries (NAICS code 512), television, radio and cable broadcasting (515), Internet publishing and broadcasting (516), agents and managers for public figures (7114), and independent artists, writers, and performers (7115). Included in this group would be motion picture and video production, record production and sound recording studios, television and radio broadcasting, cable and other subscription programming, and Internet publishing and broadcasting.

This analysis uses employment data for detailed industries and the occupational composition of each industry's workforce developed by the Connecticut Department of Labor's Office of Research. Total State employment in this area is relatively unchanged, ranging from a low of around 7,900 in 2003 to over 8,100 in 2005. However, jobs directly associated with production activities have grown, likely the result of ESPN's expansion.

The nominal annual wages for the cluster are increasing from 2000 - 2005(3Q); but more important is the comparison with the state average wage. Professor Porter advocates the higher paying clusters when identifying industries as potential sources for creating additional wealth.

Innovation

The State already has a presence in the cluster, and due to the highly specialized nature of the business, can expect to reap benefits from an increased presence in the production of entertainment content, particularly by investing in production facilities and centralizing the information on jobs, agents, casting directors, etc. A high cost state in terms of land, labor, and housing, Connecticut's future economic improvement depends on bringing together other valuable influences on growth like higher and broader education attainment, transferable workforce skills and industry knowledge, availability of capital, and entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurs are risk and uncertainty bearers, even speculators, as well as managers and innovators.

Professor Porter's model for cluster development focuses on the innovation that occurs because of geographically centralized competition and cooperation amongst firms. Important industry advancements and employment growth in recent years in Connecticut has come to light from high-value entrepreneurial activity. Modern-day Connecticut entrepreneurs may include persons like Skip Hayward of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and Foxwoods Casino, Fred Deluca of Subway, Eddie Lampert of the ESL Investments hedge fund, Martha Stewart of MSO, World Wrestling Entertainment founder Vince McMahon, and Jimmy Walker of Priceline, all of whom have made out-of-the-box calls to spawn new markets and profit opportunities that have led to unique economic benefits for the State. In the established State clusters, earlier entrepreneurs such as Sikorsky, Kaman, Pratt, Whitney, and Pfizer developed production sectors that have provided employment opportunities and wealth generation for decades for Connecticut citizens.

Currently, the TV-Cable industries employ the majority of workers. Although independent artists, writers, etc., constitute less than ten percent of the total cluster workforce, they represent an important element of the success of the cluster, as they are a very specialized component of the human capital required in the production of entertainment content.

However, the general industry classifications include a number of occupations that are not directly related to the production of entertainment content. Therefore, we filter out occupations such as ushers and other movie theatre staff to better identify Connecticut's presence in production.

Next, we analyze the cluster potential for Connecticut in the movie and television production industry and the need for an academy of arts and sciences in the region.

Cluster Potential

The New York-Boston corridor offers a deep base of human capital in entertainment production and Connecticut already supports a reasonable amount of business in movie and television production. It is not difficult to argue that providing producers and directors with more resources will encourage new filming in the State in the future. In addition, some increases in Connecticut's production may result from projects already committed to the New York or Boston area, which due to restrictions transfer a portion of the filming into our State. Other increases in filming could occur from projects that would have been scheduled in New York or Boston, but would be filmed here because facilities there were overbooked during the desired time frame.

Certain occupations have been grouped to form four occupational categories: computer, talent, copy and technical. Computer personnel include programmers and network administrators. Actors, musicians, producers and directors are in the talent category. Copy includes editors, writers and public relation specialists. Technical personnel may be sound engineers, broadcast engineers, camera operators, etc.

Eventually, some production personnel and talent may relocate into the area, as the overall economic benefits may favor Connecticut for many people. Additionally, the level of non-union production along the corridor may enjoy cost benefits from centralization, as well as gains from informational spillovers. For this facet of the entertainment business, Connecticut may provide both a hub and a kind of farm system for non-union talent and crew to develop the skills and credentials to be eligible for union productions (e.g. SAG, AFTRA).

Academy of Arts and Sciences

Crucial to Professor Porter's environment for sustainable creation of wealth are the links between training and production. Locating an academy providing training for the industry so close to New York and Boston only increases the potential for innovation through cooperation and competition. Also, the proximity of working professionals suggests much of the instruction will be of the hands-on variety, invaluable in the business. Although a thorough analysis of anticipated demand for classes and instructors relative to current supply is necessary, building Connecticut's production capacity in the entertainment business by creating programs that support the development of knowledge and skills used in the industry will yield benefits.

It's a Wrap!

In summary, Connecticut is a prime environment for clustering in the production of entertainment content. The geographic concentration of specialized human capital between New York and Boston indicates that the Connecticut industries may become so interdependent as to warrant their own cluster. Importantly, Connecticut must focus on offering to lower overall economic costs for content, when comparing with the premium paid in New York or Boston.

Development proposals should address expected levels of demand and any differences in requirements for union and non-union productions. In addition to localizing suppliers, one can expect local development of ancillary products and services, particularly in the tourism industry. Of course, the economic benefits of more jobs must be weighed against effects on average wages and the additional strain on municipal facilities. While larger urban areas may be readily able to handle any sizeable growth, in rural areas these impacts are in addition to effects on the more esoteric amenities of the region.

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Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research
Last Updated: February 2, 2006