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State of Working Connecticut 2011

State of Working Connecticut 2011

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Published by Helen Bennett
Connecticut Voices for Children, a think tank based in New Haven, released its annual Labor Day weekend report on job markets in Connecticut.
Connecticut Voices for Children, a think tank based in New Haven, released its annual Labor Day weekend report on job markets in Connecticut.

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Published by: Helen Bennett on Sep 02, 2011
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12/16/2011

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State of WorkingConnecticut, 2011:Jobs, Unemployment,and the Great Recession
Matt SantacroceOrlando Rodriguez, M.A.September 2011
Produced with the generous supportof the Melville Charitable Trust, theStoneman Family Foundation and thestaff of the Economic Policy Institute.
 
 The State of Working Connecticut, 2011
 Jobs, Unemployment, and the Great RecessionIntroduction
............................................................................................................................... 1
 
I.
 
Overall Unemployment in Connecticut
  A.
 
Statewide .................................................................................................................... 3B.
 
Employment Trends by Industry ........................................................................... 4C.
 
Connecticut’s Jobs Deficit ...................................................................................... 5D.
 
 Town-by-Town Unemployment in 2011 .............................................................. 6E.
 
 Town-by-Town Unemployment during the Great Recession ........................... 7
II.
 
Long-Term Unemployment
...................................................................................... 8 A.
 
Unemployment Insurance during the Great Recession...................................... 9
o
 
Funding Unemployment Insurance ................................................................ 9
o
 
Connecticut’s Insolvent Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund ....... 10
o
 
Costs of an Insolvent Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund ........... 10
III.
 
Underemployment
....................................................................................................... 11
 IV.
 
Race, Age, and Education during the Great Recession
.................................... 12
 
 A.
 
Race and Ethnicity ................................................................................................... 12B.
 
 Age Groups ............................................................................................................... 14C.
 
Gender ....................................................................................................................... 15D.
 
Education Attainment ............................................................................................. 16
o
 
Employment among Connecticut’s State University System Graduates ... 17
Labor Market Area (LMA) Labor Force Trends
.................................................. 19
I.
 
Introduction and Methodology
................................................................................ 19
II.
 
Individual LMA Analyses
.......................................................................................... 22 A.
 
Bridgeport-Stamford LMA ..................................................................................... 22B.
 
Danbury LMA .......................................................................................................... 23C.
 
Enfield LMA ............................................................................................................. 24D.
 
Hartford LMA .......................................................................................................... 25E.
 
New Haven LMA ..................................................................................................... 26F.
 
Norwich-New London LMA ................................................................................. 27G.
 
 Torrington LMA ...................................................................................................... 28H.
 
 Waterbury LMA ....................................................................................................... 29
I.
 
 Willimantic-Danielson LMA .................................................................................. 30
 
Conclusions and Recommendations
........................................................................... 31
Glossary
...................................................................................................................
33
 
State of Working Connecticut, 2011: Unemployment 1
Introduction
It has been more than three years since the onset of the Great Recession. The economic havoc wrought by the ongoing economic crisis has had a profound and lasting effect on Connecticut’s workers and households. The social, political, and economic effects of the Great Recession will befelt long after the economy has recovered and will be part of the public policy debate into theforeseeable future. This report examines in detail the effects of the recession on Connecticut’s laborforce and job market, focusing in large part on unemployment and related measures. Connecticut Voices for Children will release a separate report next month detailing the impact of the economiccrisis on wages in our state – an equally important, but distinct, feature of the post-recessionlandscape that warrants a focused analysis of its own.Nationwide, the official beginning of the recession was December 2007, but the recession did notofficially take hold in Connecticut until March of 2008, and ended in January 2010. Officially, theGreat Recession lasted 22 months in Connecticut, which was four months longer than the nationaldownturn. All region of the state and most segments of society were impacted by the economiccrisis. The state lost over 119,000 jobs during this period – and at the current rate of job creation inConnecticut, it will take about six years to return to pre-recession levels of employment. However,it is equally true that high unemployment was not evenly distributed among the state’s residents. Theburden has been borne disproportionately by our youngest jobseekers, and by racial and ethnicminorities in the labor force. Both groups have been hit particularly hard by stagnant – and, in some ways, deteriorating – labor market conditions. Similarly, while every town in Connecticut hasendured rapidly-increasing unemployment, urban and rural areas have seen exceptionally high joblosses while suburban and wealthy areas have suffered less. The report contains three broad sections. First is an analysis of statewide employment sectors andlabor force trends, revealing opportunity gaps by age, race, gender, and educational attainment, as well as a look at which towns were hit the hardest by the recession. Unemployment is highest among young workers, Hispanics, and African-Americans. Long-term unemployment is worse for older workers, especially older women, and has reached into the ranks of the college educated.Connecticut has the 5
th
-highest rates of long-term unemployment in the country, andunderemployment is highest among the lowest-income households. The report covers employmenttrends among recent graduates of the Connecticut State University System. There is also adiscussion of the state’s insolvent Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. Only the healthcaresector grew (+8,303 jobs) during the Great Recession, with every other major employment sectorexperiencing a net loss of jobs. Manufacturing in particular suffered the most, losing nearly 21,000jobs. While statewide statistics can tell a story of broad trends, the state is not a homogenous whole. Toprovide a fuller, and more nuanced, account of the state’s job situation, this report also examinesregional labor force trends within Connecticut, using the nine “Labor Market Areas” (LMAs) asestablished by the Connecticut Department of Labor. Details are provided for racial differences inunemployment, as well as the top five employment sectors in each LMA. This is where thedisparate unemployment situation in Connecticut becomes clear. Among whites, the statewidepercentage of the working-age population without a job peaked in March 2010 at 6.2 percent. Incontrast, this percentage among whites was still at 7.8 percent in the Waterbury LMA as recently asMarch 2011. The LMA analysis also takes into account seasonal unemployment trends that

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