All 169 of Connecticut’s municipalities saw improvement in the conditions of their business and labor markets in 2022, marking a recovery from the decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Research measures that growth annually through the Connecticut Town Economic Indexes. (CTEI) Data for 2022 was released earlier this month.
In order to develop a measure of each municipality’s overall health, the index measures four annual average town economic indicators: total covered business establishments, total covered employment, inflation-adjusted covered annual average wages, and the unemployment rate.
According to a summary of the findings in the September issue of The Connecticut Economic Digest, a monthly publication of DOL and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), “Establishments, employment and wages are proxy for each municipality’s business activities and its overall economic strength, while the unemployment rate measures the overall economic health of its residents.”
The index groups towns by population size to account for small changes in value that might disproportionately affect large and small municipalities. In towns with a population under 25,000, Colebrook and Andover experienced the fastest overall economic growth between 2021 and 2022.
In towns with a population between 25,000 and 100,000, Norwich and New London had the two fastest measures of economic growth between 2021 and 2022.
For cities with a population of 100,000 or more, Hartford and Bridgeport experienced the largest growth.
The overall number of businesses in the state increased in 2022 but at a slower level than the previous year. The number of businesses increased by 6.6 percent to 142,773 last year. In 2021, business grew by 6.9 percent. Stamford continued to have the largest number of businesses of any municipality in the state. 90 percent of Connecticut’s municipalities saw a growth in their number of businesses between 2021 and 2022.
Average statewide employment also continued to grow in 2022, with the rate of growth outpacing the previous year. In 2022, statewide employment grew 3.2 percent, up from 3 percent in the previous years. Across the state, 92 percent of municipalities saw job recovery from the previous year.
Additionally, 91 percent of municipalities in the state posted inflation-adjusted wage gains in 2022. That number rose significantly from 2021 when only 18 percent of Connecticut cities and towns posted wage gains. Across the state, the average real annual wage was $61,525 per worker, an increase of 4.4 percent from the previous year. Greenwich had the highest average wages in the state, at $139,820 in 2022.
The statewide unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in 2022, down from 6.3 percent in 2021. Hartford had the highest unemployment rate in the state, at 6.5 percent. This also decreased from 2021, when the unemployment rate was 11 percent.