Below are brief highlights from the latest annual average data prepared by the Connecticut Department of Labor's Office of Research.
Stamford continued to have the largest resident labor force of 65,837, while the smallest was in Union with 427 persons in 2002. All but eleven towns experienced increases in labor force from 2001. Among the State's largest cities, Bridgeport had the greatest increase in its labor force, up 4.6 percent over the year. Overall, the statewide labor force rose by 3.2 percent from a year ago.
Hartford's 8.2 percent was again the highest unemployment rate last year, up from 6.6 percent in 2001. Sharon, once again, posted the lowest jobless rate in 2002 (1.2 percent). The statewide rate increased from 3.3 percent in 2001 to 4.3 percent in 2002.
The total number of business establishments in Connecticut fell by 0.8 percent to 107,886 last year. Stamford continued to have the largest number of establishments, with 5,036 units in 2002, a decline of 1.7 percent over the year.
Last year's average statewide employment fell by 1.2 percent. Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, and Waterbury were among 82 cities and towns that experienced employment losses over the year.
In 2002, the highest annual wage of $92,740 was paid to employees of firms located in Greenwich, a 4.6 percent decrease from the previous year. The statewide average was $46,848 per worker, a 0.2 percent decrease over 2001.
Data for previous years appeared in the July 1999, July 2001, and September 2002 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
- Temporary workers are in all sectors of the economy, mostly in services and manufacturing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They include such diverse jobs as Web developers, accountants, janitors, administrative assistants and construction workers, writes Mary Ellen Slayter, The Washington Post (August 24, page K1). The number of temporary workers in this country grew significantly during the tech boom, and temp workers were among the first laid off in its wake. But evidence suggests the industry is picking up again. The BLS recently reported that the temporary-help industry added 122,000 jobs from April to the end of July.
- Immigrants are doing what other Americans have been doing: They're leaving crowded and expensive states such as California and New York in search of better opportunities in the booming Sun Belt, writes Haya El Nasser in USA Today (August 22, page 3A). Hispanics, black and Asian immigrants are leaving states that are traditionally immigrant gateways for the same reasons that others are leaving: affordability, quality of life, and jobs. The arrival of thousands of Californians to states like Nevada has created a demand for workers in construction and service industries. In the Midwest and Southeast, immigrants are filling farm and factory jobs abandoned by U.S.-born workers. About 60 percent of the foreign-born that came to the U.S. between 1995 and 2000 went to California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois and New Jersey, down from 73 percent a decade earlier.
- Women are less likely to negotiate, and it can be costly to them, is the message of "Women Don't Ask," by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, writes Alan B. Krueger in the New York Times' feature "Economic Scene" (August 22, page C2). Consider pay. One study found that male graduates of an Ivy League business school negotiated for a 4.3 percent higher starting salary than they were initially offered, while female graduates negotiated for just 2.7 percent. Over time, the advantage could snowball. If men negotiated a 2 percent raise each year and women accepted 1 percent, after 40 years the annual salary would be $79,024 for men and $52,987 for women - nearly a 50 percent gap. The cumulative gap over a career could exceed $440,000. Professor Babcock and Ms. Laschever speculate that much, if not all of the male-female gap in earnings can be explained by women's aversion to negotiating. With the steady decline in union membership - only 13 percent of women and 16 percent of men are now represented by a union - and the rise in households headed by women, the reluctance of women to bargain takes on even more significance. One solution is clear: Women should seek out information on how much comparable workers are paid, or what benefits and working arrangements they have negotiated. Not surprisingly, employers are often reluctant to disclose such information, says Krueger. Salary data for many Connecticut occupations can be found at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi.
Business and Employment Changes Announced in the News Media lists start-ups, expansions, staff reductions, and layoffs reported by the media, both current and future. The report provides company name, the number of workers involved, date of the action, the principal product or service of the company, a brief synopsis of the action, and the source and date of the media article. This publication is available in both HTML and PDF formats at the Connecticut Department of Labor Web site, http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi/busemp.htm.
Commissioner James F. Abromaitis of the Connecticut Department of
Economic and Community Development (DECD) announced that Connecticut communities authorized
850 new housing units in August 2003, a 4.8 percent increase compared to August of
2002 when 811 units were authorized.
The Department further indicated that the 850 units permitted in August
2003 represent a 8.4 percent decrease from the 928 units permitted in July 2003. The year-to-date
permits are down 2.4 percent, from 6,534 through August 2002, to 6,376 through August 2003.
The Stamford Labor Market Area (LMA) showed the largest number (40 units) and percentage increase
(137.9%) of permits issued when compared to a year ago. Groton led all towns with 40 new units,
followed by Norwalk with 27 and Vernon with 25. From a county perspective, only Hartford and New
London counties had year-to-date gains of 14.1 percent and 8.2 percent respectively.
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