Greater Hartford Adding Jobs Faster Than Most Similar Sized Metro Areas

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Job growth in Connecticut from June 2012 to June 2013 was modest, but a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows if the rest of the state could match metro Hartford’s pace, the jobs outlook would be far more encouraging.

The report, released Tuesday, shows job growth in each of the country’s 372 metro areas over the last year. Employers in Hartford, Middlesex and Tolland counties added 8,300 jobs over the 12 months, a 1.5 percent increase.

That job growth was stronger than in Richmond, Va., New Orleans, Buffalo, N.Y., Louisville, Ky. and Birmingham, Ala., all similar-sized regions to Hartford. It was substantially weaker than Oklahoma City, which added 15,200 jobs, and also has a similar population to Greater Hartford. That city benefits from the country’s oil boom.

Fairfield County, the state’s second-largest job market, also performed decently, adding 6,400 jobs over the year, a 1.6 percent increase.

But New Haven and New London’s economic woes drag down the state’s performance. New Haven had 1,200 fewer jobs in June 2013 than it had a year earlier, and New London had 1,600 fewer jobs. The New London contraction was 1.2 percent. Only 21 percent of the nation’s metro areas had job losses during the period.

“For all intents and purposes, we haven’t seen a recovery in New London yet,” said economist Don Klepper-Smith, who tracks the state’s economy for Data Core Partners.. “It’s premature to say they’ve bottomed.”

He said the reasons for New London’s problems are clear — downsizing at Pfizer and the casinos — but why New Haven and its suburbs would be contracting isn’t as obvious.

“Economic drivers we have vary across the state,” he said. “This underscores the fact there isn’t one Connecticut economy but multiple Connecticut economies.”

Springfield, Mass.’s metro area, which includes the Northampton region, lost 4,500 jobs, one of the largest declines in the country. Only the Cleveland area and Atlantic City, N.J., had worse losses.

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8 thoughts on “Greater Hartford Adding Jobs Faster Than Most Similar Sized Metro Areas

  1. pete

    Wanna bet ALL of the Hartford areas hiring are lazy UNION state employees. Show me a company in the Hartford area that is hiring

  2. DR

    @Pete. I think the number of state workers has gone down, not up.

    I think most of the jobs added are low-wage service jobs, not middle class state jobs.

  3. Richard

    When the Springfield Massachussets Casinos open in Fall 2015 New London County will bleed jobs and top Atlantic City as the worst economic performance.

    CTs government employment is misleading as Malloy is increasing the use of outsourcing to resolve the institutionalization mess in health care and prison and education.

  4. Rob

    Look at “The Courant” as always looking for any carrot to make this administration look better. No bias here. WOW, Hartford is outperforming Birmingham, AL and Buffalo, NY!! What an accomplishment!

    1. Mara Lee Post author

      The cities were selected as the comparison basis because they have the closest population totals to greater Hartford. In rankings of metro areas by population, the order is this:

      Louisville #42
      Richmond #43
      Oklahoma City #44
      Hartford #45
      New Orleans #46
      Buffalo #47
      Birmingham #48

      If you go to the hotlink in the post, you can compare Hartford to any city in the country.

      1. Rob

        My point is still valid, and what is important is Connecticut’s incredibly poor peformance vs other states thanks to poor policy decisions, high taxes, massive public debt, excessive government spending.

  5. Mark

    CT lags the country with an overall unemployment rate of 8.1% despite hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies to billion dollar companies. A tax cut coupled with structural reform would make Connecticut more competitive. What we have now is a Union run command and control Government Economy. Political beneficiaries have an edge over free market economics. Free marketers are leaving the state or not forming here and there’s an massive opportunity cost to CT. The rest remain here to capture their subsidies. The numbers don’t lie. Politicians do. CT is near last in economic growth.

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