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Connecticut Economic Digest: May 2001 issue
Occupational Employment Forecast to 2008 | 2000 Population Increased for 139 Cities and Towns | Industry Clusters | Housing Update

Occupational Employment Forecast to 2008
By John Tirinzonie, Director of Job Development

In Connecticut, our economy will create more than 170,000 new jobs by 2008, a 9.7 percent increase from the 1998 level. In addition, another 412,000 openings will develop to replace workers who leave the workforce. What will this mean for career and employment opportunities? Which occupations will be growing and which will be declining? Which occupational group will create the most new jobs? This article will provide the answers to many of these questions. By understanding our economy and the forces that will reshape it, one will have a greater chance for career success in the coming years.

Employment Change

What lies ahead for workers in Connecticut? Rapid changes in Connecticut's industrial base will have a pronounced effect on both the growth of and future needs for various occupations. For example, with research and development and information technology industries growing at a rapid pace, occupations within the professional fields will grow twice as fast as the rate for all occupations. At the same time, the need for semi-skilled and unskilled workers will decline, and in many cases, at a noticeable rate.

Technology advancements will also affect the need for many workers. While systems analysts, computer specialists, and computer engineers will grow six times faster than most occupations, some administrative support occupations will see the reverse situation (see chart on the front page). Typists and word processors, bookkeeping and procurement clerks, and even secretaries will continue to be displaced by our new technologies. Nevertheless, the need to replace existing workers who will retire, change careers, or leave the workforce will be most pronounced in states with an older median age of workers, such as Connecticut. In fact, for every job opening created by growth, two more will become available to refill vacant positions. This will vary markedly from one occupation to another. For example, machinists in Connecticut will lose more than 300 positions, but the need to replace workers in that field will result in nearly 100 job openings annually. Other occupations, such as computer engineers, will see only 35 positions open up annually to replace workers, while a substantial number, 335, will result solely from growth.

Regardless of what one's employment interest may be, there are an abundance of choices that are or will be available in Connecticut.

Managerial Occupations

Since the 1990's, corporate restructuring has had a major impact on jobs in this sector. In some cases, the need to deal with the complexity of running a major corporation has lead to the growth and specialization in management positions. For instance, engineering, information systems, and science managers will grow the fastest 28.4 percent creating more than 2,500 positions, while financial managers, responsible for the planning, organizing, and investment activities of businesses, will grow at a rate of 12.3 percent and create nearly 1,400 jobs.

Professional/Technical Careers

Professional and technical occupations will grow the fastest (17.6 percent) and create the most new jobs, 74,630, during the ten-year projection period. With more than 420,000 jobs in this group, professional/technical workers now account for approximately 25 percent of total employment and 27 percent of total anticipated annual job openings. The chart below shows that engineers can expect an average of 6,200 new jobs created by 2008, with computer engineers growing the fastest (64.5 percent) and creating the most new jobs, 3,349, followed by electrical engineers with 18.4 percent growth, generating more than 1,000 new positions. The computer scientist group, consisting of occupations such as systems analysts, computer specialists, and computer programmers, employs about 30,000 persons currently, but by 2008 will see that level grow to more than 45,800 and account for almost 15,000 new jobs. Health care maintenance and treatment workers, with approximately 45,000 persons currently employed will place second in creating new jobs in this category. All together, 7,600 additional workers will be needed to fill new openings for careers such as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and pharmacists. Other major groups adding a significant number of new jobs include teachers and instructors (7,581), social and recreational workers (6,962) and accountants and financial specialists (2,824).

Marketing & Sales Careers

Despite a slowing of growth in the trade sector, occupations in this category will grow 11.1 percent, slightly above the overall average. In Connecticut, especially the southwestern area of the State, strong growth in the security and commodities industry will overshadow expected losses in the banking industry as financial investment firms continue to move and expand in lower Fairfield County. Securities and commodities agents will benefit from this growth, adding more than 2,300 new workers to their current level, a 41 percent increase. Sales agents for business services will also grow by 21 percent, adding almost 1,000 new jobs by 2008. The increased use of the Internet for sales transactions will have a noticeable effect on the growth of telemarketing jobs, which are expected to increase by 28 percent, creating more than 1,700 jobs during the projection period. Retail salespersons will increase in the workforce by 5,650, to a total of approximately 59,000.

Administrative Support Careers

The fast-paced growth in technology will continue to slow job growth for many occupations in this category, and in some cases cause certain occupations to decline. As a result of this, the proportion of administrative support occupations will slip from its current level of 17.0 percent to 15.8 percent by 2008. While secretaries in general will show an overall decline in numbers, more than 800 openings will be available annually to replace workers who leave the workforce; and in the case of medical and legal secretaries, growth will account for a few new positions annually. Altogether, there will be a need for several hundred new workers and 3,200 replacement workers, annually, in this category.

Service Careers

The need for service workers will increase most noticeably in the protective, health, and personal services groups. Occupations such as police officers, detectives, and correction officers will lead this category with approximately 2,300 new positions over the ten-year period, resulting in more than 460 total annual openings. With the aging of the baby-boomers, employment will grow from 45,230 to 54,690 for health services workers, creating more than 1,650 openings per year. Medical assistants and home health aides will grow the fastest at 49.0 percent and 32.9 percent, respectively, providing 658 new opportunities annually for workers in these fields. The number of nursing aides will grow by 388 annually, and with the 356 workers needed to replace those who leave this field, the total annual job openings will exceed 740.

Precision Production, Craft, Maintenance, & Repair Careers

While the loss of some manufacturing jobs in Connecticut will have a negative effect on the growth of many lower skilled production jobs, this group will grow by 4.3 percent, creating more than 800 new jobs and 3,900 replacement jobs annually. Mechanics, installers, and repairers will grow the fastest, providing an estimated 3,800 new jobs, bringing the number of workers in this area to 61,600. Automobile repairers, data processing equipment repairers, and heating and air-conditioning mechanics are among the occupations with the best potential for future employment. Construction trades workers will add almost 4,000 new workers to their ranks by 2008, and with replacement needs added, more than 1,400 jobs will need to be filled annually in this area.


More detailed information is available through our Web site at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi or call the Office of Research, Job Development Unit at (860) 263-6280.


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2000 Population Increased for 139 Cities and Towns
By Jungmin Charles Joo, Associate Research Analyst, and Dana Placzek, Research Analyst

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the Census 2000 population data for Connecticut. Here are some brief highlights.

Between 1990 and 2000, Connecticut's total population increased by 118,449, or 3.6 percent, to 3,405,565. During the same period, the U.S. population grew by 13.2 percent to 281.4 million.

Middlesex County's population grew the fastest, 8.3 percent, while Hartford County's growth was the slowest at 0.6 percent.

On a town level, the largest percentage growth occurred in Sherman (+36.2%), followed by Colchester (+32.5%), Sterling (+31.5%), Scotland (+28.1%), East Hampton (+28.0%), and Killingworth (+25.0%). Oppositely, Norfolk experienced the largest percentage decline (-19.4%), followed by Hartford (-13.0%), Groton (-11.6%), and New London (-10.1%). The complete town population data and percent changes are presented on the next page. Overall, as the map below shows, the population rose in 139 out of 169 cities and towns in the State over the decade.

Among the State's five largest cities, Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, and Waterbury all lost population from 1990 to 2000, but Stamford's increased by 8.4 percent. Nevertheless, Bridgeport continued to be the largest city in Connecticut (139,529). Hartford (121,578) slipped to third in 2000, as New Haven (123,626) moved up to become the second most populous city in the State.

Town

2000

1990

90-00%

Town

2000

1990

90-00%

Town

2000

1990

90-00%

Andover

3,036

2,540

19.5%

Griswold

10,807

10,384

4.1%

Preston

4,688

5,006

-6.4%

Ansonia

18,554

18,403

0.8%

Groton

39,907

45,144

-11.6%

Prospect

8,707

7,775

12.0%

Ashford

4,098

3,765

8.8%

Guilford

21,398

19,848

7.8%

Putnam

9,002

9,031

-0.3%

Avon

15,832

13,937

13.6%

Haddam

7,157

6,769

5.7%

Redding

8,270

7,927

4.3%

Barkhamsted

3,494

3,369

3.7%

Hamden

56,913

52,434

8.5%

Ridgefield

23,643

20,919

13.0%

Beacon Falls

5,246

5,083

3.2%

Hampton

1,758

1,578

11.4%

Rocky Hill

17,966

16,554

8.5%

Berlin

18,215

16,787

8.5%

Hartford

121,578

139,739

-13.0%

Roxbury

2,136

1,825

17.0%

Bethany

5,040

4,608

9.4%

Hartland

2,012

1,866

7.8%

Salem

3,858

3,310

16.6%

Bethel

18,067

17,541

3.0%

Harwinton

5,283

5,228

1.1%

Salisbury

3,977

4,090

-2.8%

Bethlehem

3,422

3,071

11.4%

Hebron

8,610

7,079

21.6%

Scotland

1,556

1,215

28.1%

Bloomfield

19,587

19,483

0.5%

Kent

2,858

2,918

-2.1%

Seymour

15,454

14,288

8.2%

Bolton

5,017

4,575

9.7%

Killingly

16,472

15,889

3.7%

Sharon

2,968

2,928

1.4%

Bozrah

2,357

2,297

2.6%

Killingworth

6,018

4,814

25.0%

Shelton

38,101

35,418

7.6%

Branford

28,683

27,603

3.9%

Lebanon

6,907

6,041

14.3%

Sherman

3,827

2,809

36.2%

Bridgeport

139,529

141,686

-1.5%

Ledyard

14,687

14,913

-1.5%

Simsbury

23,234

22,023

5.5%

Bridgewater

1,824

1,654

10.3%

Lisbon

4,069

3,790

7.4%

Somers

10,417

9,108

14.4%

Bristol

60,062

60,640

-1.0%

Litchfield

8,316

8,365

-0.6%

South Windsor

24,412

22,090

10.5%

Brookfield

15,664

14,113

11.0%

Lyme

2,016

1,949

3.4%

Southbury

18,567

15,818

17.4%

Brooklyn

7,173

6,681

7.4%

Madison

17,858

15,485

15.3%

Southington

39,728

38,518

3.1%

Burlington

8,190

7,026

16.6%

Manchester

54,740

51,618

6.0%

Sprague

2,971

3,008

-1.2%

Canaan

1,081

1,057

2.3%

Mansfield

20,720

21,103

-1.8%

Stafford

11,307

11,091

1.9%

Canterbury

4,692

4,467

5.0%

Marlborough

5,709

5,535

3.1%

Stamford

117,083

108,056

8.4%

Canton

8,840

8,268

6.9%

Meriden

58,244

59,479

-2.1%

Sterling

3,099

2,357

31.5%

Chaplin

2,250

2,048

9.9%

Middlebury

6,451

6,145

5.0%

Stonington

17,906

16,919

5.8%

Cheshire

28,543

25,684

11.1%

Middlefield

4,203

3,925

7.1%

Stratford

49,976

49,389

1.2%

Chester

3,743

3,417

9.5%

Middletown

43,167

42,762

0.9%

Suffield

13,552

11,427

18.6%

Clinton

13,094

12,767

2.6%

Milford

52,305

49,938

4.7%

Thomaston

7,503

6,947

8.0%

Colchester

14,551

10,980

32.5%

Monroe

19,247

16,896

13.9%

Thompson

8,878

8,668

2.4%

Colebrook

1,471

1,365

7.8%

Montville

18,546

16,673

11.2%

Tolland

13,146

11,001

19.5%

Columbia

4,971

4,510

10.2%

Morris

2,301

2,039

12.8%

Torrington

35,202

33,687

4.5%

Cornwall

1,434

1,414

1.4%

Naugatuck

30,989

30,625

1.2%

Trumbull

34,243

32,016

7.0%

Coventry

11,504

10,063

14.3%

New Britain

71,538

75,491

-5.2%

Union

693

612

13.2%

Cromwell

12,871

12,286

4.8%

New Canaan

19,395

17,864

8.6%

Vernon

28,063

29,841

-6.0%

Danbury

74,848

65,585

14.1%

New Fairfield

13,953

12,911

8.1%

Voluntown

2,528

2,113

19.6%

Darien

19,607

18,196

7.8%

New Hartford

6,088

5,769

5.5%

Wallingford

43,026

40,822

5.4%

Deep River

4,610

4,332

6.4%

New Haven

123,626

130,474

-5.2%

Warren

1,254

1,226

2.3%

Derby

12,391

12,199

1.6%

New London

25,671

28,540

-10.1%

Washington

3,596

3,905

-7.9%

Durham

6,627

5,732

15.6%

New Milford

27,121

23,629

14.8%

Waterbury

107,271

108,961

-1.6%

East Granby

4,745

4,302

10.3%

Newington

29,306

29,208

0.3%

Waterford

19,152

17,930

6.8%

East Haddam

8,333

6,676

24.8%

Newtown

25,031

20,779

20.5%

Watertown

21,661

20,456

5.9%

East Hampton

13,352

10,428

28.0%

Norfolk

1,660

2,060

-19.4%

West Hartford

63,589

60,110

5.8%

East Hartford

49,575

50,452

-1.7%

North Branford

13,906

12,996

7.0%

West Haven

52,360

54,021

-3.1%

East Haven

28,189

26,144

7.8%

North Canaan

3,350

3,284

2.0%

Westbrook

6,292

5,414

16.2%

East Lyme

18,118

15,340

18.1%

North Haven

23,035

22,247

3.5%

Weston

10,037

8,648

16.1%

East Windsor

9,818

10,081

-2.6%

North Stonington

4,991

4,884

2.2%

Westport

25,749

24,410

5.5%

Eastford

1,618

1,314

23.1%

Norwalk

82,951

78,331

5.9%

Wethersfield

26,271

25,651

2.4%

Easton

7,272

6,303

15.4%

Norwich

36,117

37,391

-3.4%

Willington

5,959

5,979

-0.3%

Ellington

12,921

11,197

15.4%

Old Lyme

7,406

6,535

13.3%

Wilton

17,633

15,989

10.3%

Enfield

45,212

45,532

-0.7%

Old Saybrook

10,367

9,552

8.5%

Winchester

10,664

11,524

-7.5%

Essex

6,505

5,904

10.2%

Orange

13,233

12,830

3.1%

Windham

22,857

22,039

3.7%

Fairfield

57,340

53,418

7.3%

Oxford

9,821

8,685

13.1%

Windsor

28,237

27,817

1.5%

Farmington

23,641

20,608

14.7%

Plainfield

14,619

14,363

1.8%

Windsor Locks

12,043

12,358

-2.5%

Franklin

1,835

1,810

1.4%

Plainville

17,328

17,392

-0.4%

Wolcott

15,215

13,700

11.1%

Glastonbury

31,876

27,901

14.2%

Plymouth

11,634

11,822

-1.6%

Woodbridge

8,983

7,924

13.4%

Goshen

2,697

2,329

15.8%

Pomfret

3,798

3,102

22.4%

Woodbury

9,198

8,131

13.1%

Granby

10,347

9,369

10.4%

Portland

8,732

8,418

3.7%

Woodstock

7,221

6,008

20.2%

Greenwich

61,101

58,441

4.6%

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Industry Clusters
META Leads New Cluster

Newly launched in 2000 is the Metals Manufacturing Cluster overseen by the Metal Manufacturing Education and Training Alliance (META). Its 11 members, based in Bridgeport and Stratford, are working together to: prepare workers for a faster-paced, technology-dependent work environment; upgrade their technological capacity; adopt lean manufacturing processes; and network and collaborate to pursue joint contracts with large companies. 

In September 2000, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) recognized META, awarding a one-to-one matched grant in the amount of $125,000. In other developments, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the WorkPlace Inc., serving as a fiduciary for META, a grant totaling $1.7 million to develop training. A program manager was hired and a consultant sought for lean manufacturing training. The Connecticut State Technology Extension Program (CONN/STEP) helped implement a waste reduction program toward reducing costs. 

META companies collectively employ more than 1,600 people, have annual sales over $232 million, and occupy more than 800,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Member companies have core competencies in engineering design, lathing, grinding, milling, welding, machining, process development and assembly. 

According to META, metal manufacturing is one of the largest industries in Bridgeport. The cluster consists of such industries as fabricated metals, electronic components, machine tools, plating and polishing. 

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Housing Update
March 2001 Housing Permit Activity

Commissioner James F. Abromaitis of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development announced that Connecticut communities authorized 561 new housing units in March 2001, a 34.7 percent decrease compared to March of 2000 when 859 units were authorized.

The Department further indicated that the 561 units permitted in March 2001 represent a decrease of 20.5 percent from the 706 units permitted in February 2001. The year-to-date permits are down by 2.5 percent, from 2,170 through March 2000, to 2,166 through March 2001.

Hartford Labor Market Area documented the largest number of new authorized units in March with 223. New Haven Labor Market Area followed with 71 units. All labor market areas showed decreases in new housing authorizations compared to a year ago. Danbury led all Connecticut communities with 32 units, followed by Hartford with 23 and Milford with 19.

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Last Updated: November 5, 2002