This article briefly
highlights the changes in the State's annual average covered employment and
wages (from the ES-202 report, a compilation of employment and wages data from employers
subject to State unemployment insurance laws) by major industry division between the peak
(1988), trough (1992), and present (1997) years. The complete data by
two-digit Standard Industry Classification (SIC) is downloadable in Excel format
Despite the past recession, services sector jobs grew nearly
three percent, as Connecticut's employment dropped almost ten percent from 1988 to
1992. Then from 1992 to 1997, this rapidly expanding industry's employment rose an
impressive 23 percent and now makes up almost one third of the total payroll jobs in the
State. The largest services industry to help fuel this explosive job growth was business
services, which added over 30,000 workers during the recovery. As far as wages are
concerned, the services industry remained as the second lowest-paid industry at $654 per
week last year.
Transportation & Public Utilities (TPU):
This industry division declined
during the recession, but then expanded during the recovery and is now surpassing its 1988
employment level. The Communications sector contributed much of the job losses
between 1988 and 1992. Gains in the local passenger transit and air
transportation industries helped the sector to get back on course.
The construction industry also declined during the
recessionary years and then rose, but did not quite return to its peak employment level of
1988. As of 1997, jobs in the industry were still 31 percent lower than ten years earlier.
Special trade contractors have made the strongest comeback, adding 23 percent more
jobs to the industry's payrolls since 1992.
This industry also declined since 1992, losing close to
20,000 jobs, or seven percent. The heaviest job losses were reported in general
merchandise stores, auto dealers & service stations, and apparel &
accessory stores. The retail industry group had the lowest wage rate of major industry
divisions at $356 a week in 1997.
Despite local governments hiring over 5,000 new
workers since 1992, the significant drops in federal and state> government
workforces halted any meaningful rebound in overall government employment.
The manufacturing sector, which made up 23 percent of all
employment in 1988, fell to a 17 percent share, losing close to 100,000 jobs by 1997. Most
of the decline came from transportation equipment, industrial machinery & computer
equipment, and electronic equipment manufacturers. Moreover, transportation
equipment manufacturing firms shed more jobs during the recovery than during the
Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE):
This sector also suffered
an enormous job loss, over 20,000 since 1988. The industry realignment and restructuring
of many banks and insurance carriers contributed to a 14 percent drop in the FIRE
employment level. Despite this, a great increase in demand for investment services spurred
a hiring and opening frenzy of security & commodity brokers and holding
& other investment offices throughout the State. The FIRE industry as a whole had
the highest average weekly wage, at $1,254, of all of the major industry groups.
After losing more than seven percent
of the jobs during the last recession, the Danielson Labor Market Area is now on a fast
recovery track, its employment growing by 13 percent, or 2,300 new jobs from 1992 to 1997.
As the chart below shows, this job growth rate was much higher than the statewide average
of six percent. The Area's unemployment rate also dropped from a high of 9.3 percent
in 1992 to 6.9 percent in 1997.
Nestled in the upper most northeast corner of Connecticut, Danielson is the
State's second smallest Labor Market Area, ranked by number of jobs. It
encompasses twelve quiet rural towns within which nearly two percent of the State's
labor force resides, and nearly 1.3 percent (20,700 in September 1998) of the State
nonfarm jobs are located.
Looking at annual averages, during Connecticut's recession years (1989-1992) the
Danielson area lost 1,400 jobs (-7.3%), with employment dropping to 17,800. The
manufacturing industry shed 1,000 of these jobs. Then from 1992 to 1997, the region
regained 2,300 jobs, a 13 percent increase. Manufacturing, retail trade, and services each
added 700, 700, and 500 jobs, respectively. By 1997 the LMA had surpassed its
pre-recession employment level by 900 jobs.
Currently, jobs in the Area have grown by nearly two percent (+400) over the past year
(see page 16). These gains have been registered in the construction, manufacturing,
services, and government sectors.
The future looks promising for the region with the expected arrival of Automatic
Rolls of New England; a bun baker for McDonalds', which is moving into
Killingly early in 1999 with an employment need of 130 people. This should help the town
whose unemployment rate last year was the highest in the Area at 9.6 percent. Improvements
to Route 6 would open the region up to further possibilities.
Connecticut United for
Research Excellence, Inc.(CURE)
formally forged a partnership
with the Department of
Economic and Community
Development to stimulate
the growth of the State's
emerging bioscience industry
cluster. The partnership will
define long-term factors affecting
the biotechnology industry,
including workforce development,
and publicizing and promoting
the industry. The partnership
was announced in the annual
CURE meeting October 7, 1998.
The State's $150,000 in start-up
funds is being matched by
$350,000 through CURE.
Last year employment among
companies grew by more than
40% topping 9,000, with a 37%
increase in research and development
spending alone. R&D
expenditures now exceed $1.8
billion. In 1990, CURE was
founded as a not-for-profit
coalition of education and research
corporations; health care
systems; professional societies,
businesses and other voluntary
health care organizations. CURE
membership totals more than 80.
According to CURE, more than
1,100 jobs last year were created
at pharmaceutical, academic and
biotechnology companies and
institutions in Connecticut.
CURE claims that for every new
job created in biomedical research,
2.5 jobs are added in the
general economy. The total
impact on the Connecticut
economy is nearly 3,000 indirect
jobs that were supported due to
the growth of the biomedical
Commissioner James F.
Abromaitis of the Connecticut
Department of Economic and
Community Development announced
that Connecticut communities
authorized 984 new
housing units in September 1998,
a 33 percent increase compared to
September of 1997 when 740 were
The Department further indicated
that the 984 units permitted
in September 1998 represent an
increase of 0.1 percent from the
976 units permitted in August
1998. The year-to-date permits
are up 22.1 percent, from 7,019
through September 1997, to 8,570
through September 1998.
"Housing permits continue to
show remarkable growth through
three quarters," Commissioner
Abromaitis said. "It is also significant
that housing starts continue
to increase in most of
Connecticut's major cities, including
Bridgeport, Hartford, New
Haven, and Stamford compared
with the same period last year."
Reports from municipal officials
throughout the state indicate that
New London County with 83.6
percent showed the greatest
percentage increase in September
compared to the same month a
year ago. New Haven County
followed with a 50.8 percent
Hartford County documented
the largest number of new, authorized
units in September with 225.
New Haven County followed with
196 units and Fairfield County
had 194 units. East Lyme led all
Connecticut communities with 65
units, followed by Wallingford with
42 and Glastonbury with 41.
The Connecticut coincident
continues to depict a rosy picture
of the Connecticut economy. The
coincident index has experienced
significant upward movement for
about three years, after growing
more slowly during the initial
phase of the current expansion.
The Connecticut leading employment
index also has been on an
upward trend, albeit with less
strength and with more ups and
downs. This index, however, has
most recently begun to paint a
darker, less-rosy vision of the
The leading index, a barometer
of future employment activity,
dropped for the third consecutive
month with the release of (preliminary)
August data. The June
decrease in the leading index was
largely a result of the higher initial
claims for unemployment insurance.
The July fall emerged as a
result of lower Hartford helpwanted
advertising and a higher
rate. The most recent August drop
reflected higher initial claims for
unemployment insurance, although
still fewer in number than
in June, and lower housing permits.
A reversal in the direction of
movement of the leading index for
three consecutive months generally
precedes a change in the
direction of the economy by six-totwelve
months. As a consequence,
the August data must cause one
to reflect on the sustainability of
the current expansion. Although
three consecutive downward
movements in the leading index do
not always precede a downturn in
the economy, they frequently do.
So we shall carefully follow future
movements of the leading index in
The coincident index, a barometer
of current employment activity,
on the other hand, reached
another new peak, suggesting
current economic conditions
remain strong. The month-bymonth
increase in the coincident
index resulted from increase in
both nonfarm and total employment.
The unemployment rate was
unchanged while the insured
unemployment rate rose by a
small amount on a month-overmonth
In summary, the coincident
employment index rose from 90.0
in August 1997 to 96.5 in August
1998. All four index components,
once again, point in a positive
direction on a year-over-year basis
with higher nonfarm employment,
higher total employment, a lower
insured unemployment rate, and a
lower total unemployment rate.
The leading employment index
fell slightly from 89.9 in August
1997 to 89.4 in August 1998.
Three of the five index components
sent positive signals on a yearover-
year basis with a lower shortduration
(less than 15 weeks)
unemployment rate, higher Hartford
help-wanted advertising, and
a longer average work week of
manufacturing production workers.
The other two components
sent negative signals on a yearover-
year basis with higher initial
claims for unemployment insurance
and lower total housing
SOURCE: Connecticut Center for or Economic Analysis, University of Connecticut. Developed by Pami Dua [Economic Cycle
Research Institute; NY,NY] and Stephen M. Miller [(860) 486-3853, Storrs Campus]. Campus]. Kathryn E. Parr and Hulya Varol [(860) 486-3022, Storrs Campus] provided research support.
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