Think tank pans Connecticut

An enviable performance during the recession notwithstanding, a new study puts Connecticut among the bottom feeders nationally for its economic performance leading up to this year.

The data do not include information from 2009 during the worst of the recession, and that fact is reflected in the top-ranked state being Nevada, which has been decimated this year by the collapse of the housing and tourism industries that drive its economy.

The San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute ranked states by several factors, including growth in real estate product; wealth and poverty statistics; employment data; migration; and entrepreneurship. Overall, PRI ranked Connecticut 39th nationally for its economic profile.

On the plus side, Connecticut ranked well ahead of several neighbors, including New York and Massachusetts which tied for 45th nationally in the report; New Jersey at the 41st rung; and Rhode Island one slot behind. New Hampshire led all Northeast states by finishing 20th nationally.

The bottommost state, however, has struggled more than any other during the recession – Michigan.

On income-related measures, Connecticut ranked sixth nationally as might be expected, but the state was pulled down by a woeful score on entrepreneurship measures, placing in the bottom five nationally; and scoring in the bottom dozen on net migration by more families leaving the state than coming in.

In late August, the U.S. Department of Labor issued revised labor force estimates for Connecticut, which did not impact the state’s 7.8 percent unemployment rate as of July. Connecticut had 67,000 fewer jobs in July than a year earlier. Connecticut’s employment figures have fared better than many Northeast neighbors during the downturn.

According to estimates by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Fairfield County unemployment rates range from 5.6 percent in Easton, Sherman, Weston and Wilton to 11.6 percent in Bridgeport.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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