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Economic Index: Growth continues in CT, but at slower pace than 2015

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For the third year in a row, the Connecticut Town Economic Index has placed North Stonington in the top two cities and towns in the state for economic growth. The town received the highest score for 2014 and 2015, and the second-highest for 2016, below only Canaan.

The Connecticut Town Economic Index, introduced two years ago, is an annual report from the Connecticut Department of Labor's Office of Research. It is the highlight of the September issue of The Connecticut Economic Digest, released on Friday.

Overall, the report stated, "The state's cities and towns experienced further economic improvement in 2016, though at a slower pace than in 2015."

The indicators for the index, which come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, are business establishments, employment, inflation-adjusted wages and unemployment rate in each town.

This year's report gives each town a score for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, using 2010 as a base year for comparison. The score for 2010 is 100 and, unlike in last year's report, every city and town in the state has a score higher than 100.

The 2016 scores for cities and towns range from 101.9 in Colebrook to 143.6 in Canaan. Lyme is the ninth-highest, with a score of 133.8.

The average score is 123.7. Locally, the other cities and towns that scored above the average are Old Lyme, Groton and Stonington, while Ledyard, Norwich, Montville, Waterford, Preston and East Lyme fall below the average.

The average of town scores in the Norwich-New London labor market area, one of nine regions in the state, showed a slower pace of growth than the state average, according to the report.

New London has one of the five highest unemployment rates in the state, along with Hartford, Waterbury, Bridgeport and New Britain. Statewide, the unemployment rate fell from 5.7 percent in 2015 to 5.1 percent in 2016.

While growth statewide increased steadily from 2011 to 2015, growth slowed slightly from 2015 to 2016.

The Department of Labor concluded that it remains to be seen whether the economic condition in 2017 will get better or worse.

e.moser@theday.com

2016 Connecticut Town Economic Index


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