State of Working Connecticut 2010

Back • Publication Date: September 2nd, 2010

Authors: Joachim Hero, M.P.H., Orlando Rodriguez, M.A., and Jacob Siegel

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This annual review of wage, employment and job sector trends finds that:

  • The long-term unemployment rate in Connecticut — the share of unemployed workers seeking work who have been out of work for 6 months or more — is the fourth highest in the country at 37%. The underemployment rate — which includes the unemployed, part-time workers who want to work full-time, and discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work — is at a historic high for the state, at 14%.
  • Only the Health and Education job sector experienced substantial job growth since the beginning of the recession, growing by 4.6% from March 2008 through 2010. The state’s only successful job sector may be threatened by state budget cuts, since this sector is heavily dependent on public sector investment.
  • In recent years, middle-wage occupations have experienced the steepest job losses. This group of occupations, which include middle-class jobs have lost 6.8% of their positions between 2006 and 2009. This is a troubling loss of occupations that have traditionally provided living wages.
  • Racial, ethnic, and gender gaps in wages are much wider in Connecticut than among workers in other states. The median wage for Connecticut’s African Americans was only 62% of the white median wage in 2009. Hispanics earned only 60% of the median wage of whites in the state. Connecticut also has the sixth worst gender gap in wages among all states, with women earning 76% of men’s median wages.

A supplemental report, “State of Working Connecticut 2010: Trends in Local Labor Market Areas,” summarizes local wage, unemployment, and business trends in Connecticut’s nine Labor Market Areas: Bridgeport-Stamford, Danbury, Enfield, Hartford, New Haven, Norwich-New London, Torrington, Waterbury, and Willimantic-Danielson. An Excel data file is available with more detailed Labor Market data.