After five months of steady decline, the unemployment rate in Waterford dropped to an alltime low of 7.3 percent during the month of May.
At the same time, the labor force, which is the measure of working individuals in town, increased by over 200 people, from 10,403 to 10,614 individuals, according to the latest Department of Labor statistics.
The number of those who claimed to be unemployed dropped slightly from 799 to 780 people, the statistics showed.
The combination of a rising work force coupled with the decreasing unemployment rate signals the fact that more people are back out looking for work in May, and are finding jobs.
"An expanding labor force may signal jobseekers are reentering the labor market, sensing better employment prospects," the DOL said in response to the state's overall job picture.
Here's a full breakdown of labor statistics over the past five months in Waterford:
Jan. Feb. March April May Labor Force
10,484 10,397 10,393 10,403 10,614 Employed 9,634 9,590 9,570 9,604 9,834 Unemployed 850 807 823 799 780 Rate 8.1 7.8 7.9 7.7 7.3
While the labor force hit its highest point in 2012, it was notably higher during the summer months in 2011. The unemployment rate reached 8.9 percent in July last year, however the actual number of individuals in the work force peaked at 11,199.
Here are the 2011 summer statistics. A full breakdown of the whole year can be viewed here.May June July Aug. Sept. Labor Force 10,801 10,968 11,199 11,177 10,762 Employed 9,937 10,032 10,207 10,229 9,888 Unemployed 864 936 992 948 874 Rate 8.0 8.5 8.9 8.5 8.1
Statewide, the unemployment rate crept from 7.7 percent up to 7.8 percent from April to May. But, like Waterford, the state overall saw an increase of over 5,200 jobs during the month of May.
At this same time last year, the unemployment rate in Connecticut stood at 8.9 percent.
“A resumption of more typical seasonal patterns now will hopefully give us a clearer picture going forward on job growth and unemployment in the state,” remarked Andy Condon, director of the agency’s Office of Research. “Growth in the civilian labor force, if it continues, is a sign that more people are actively searching for work and is significant since the labor force had declined four months in a row.”
In a statement to the media, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy didn’t directly mention the word “increase” in regard to the unemployment figures. Malloy highlighted how the national unemployment rate is at 8.2 percent, still higher than Connecticut.
“Given the fact that more people are trying to enter the work force because they’re more optimistic they can actually find a job, the change in the unemployment rate is not a surprise,” Malloy said. “We saw an example of that increase . As I’ve said all along, changing an economy that failed to grow jobs in a meaningful way for a generation won’t happen overnight. But I am committed to seeing this through.”
He went on to highlight the recent U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report that Connecticut’s economy was among the .
“So while it’s clear we have a lot more work to do, it’s also clear we’re in the process of turning this thing around,” the governor said.