Stratford Unemployment Rate Highest All Year

July unemployment rate tops 10 percent for the first time in 2012.

Stratford had its highest unemployment rate of the year last month, according to July statistics released by the Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL).

A 10.4 percent unemployment rate is 1.5 percentage points higher than June's rate of 8.9 percent. In July, there were 25,368 Stratford residents who were employed, the lowest number in all of 2012.

Stratford's unemployment rate in July 2011 was 10.2, and Mayor John A. Harkins attributed the figure to the type of workforce in town.

"Stratford is a bedroom community with a number of residents who commute out of town for their jobs," Harkins wrote in an email. "Traditionally, this has tended to keep Stratford's unemployment number on the higher side."

Patch reader "max" attributed the high rate to something else.

"The average age of Stratford's unemployment reflects the 'baby boomer' component of town demographics," max . "Those over 50 are getting hit hardest by layoffs more than other workers. I know, I'm one of the 10.2 percent."

One thing that's different about last July's unemployment rate and this year's is how it relates to the statewide and national averages. In 2011, the statewide average was 9.2 and national rate, 9.1; in 2012, latest figures show a statewide average of 8.5 and a national rate of 8.3.

So why has Stratford's unemployment rate increased compared to 12 months ago and the state's and nation's decreased? Here's what readers had to say on the Stratford Patch Facebook page:

  • Kip Steele: "Lack of skills and shifting of education to reflect that. We have a shortage of software developers in America. Time for Stratford to get in the game here."
  • Angela Mooney: "Lack of jobs! I need one and can't find one!!!!!"
  • Frank Kalakay: "Whoever keeps chasing the potential businesses and retail away from Stratford needs to realize it's not helping our town. Times have changed, and Sikorsky is our backbone. Many vacant buildings and lots in town can be used and help our town grow and become more stable. Maybe some tax breaks on these properties to bring in business.."

Here's a look at July 2012 compared to July 2011, according to statistics from the DOL:

June July Labor force 27,899 28,320 Employed 25,413 25,368 Unemployed 2,486 2,952 Rate 8.9 10.4

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy offered the following in a prepared statement:

"The phrase 'worst economic downturn since the Great Depression' is used so often, we've become immune to the words. But they're true. So, it should come as a surprise to no one that pulling the country and our state out of that downturn is hard. Really hard. But let me be clear: we are making progress, and I have every confidence we'll continue to make progress."

Do you share the governor's confidence? Why do you think Stratford's unemployment rate is almost two full points higher than the state's? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mike August 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Gee, with so many people out of work, they will have to raise taxes to make sure they get theirs.
Political Fan August 23, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Oh that cannot be true. We have the greatest Governator & Presentator in US history. They have saved countless 100K public sector union jobs and 100K+ public sector union pensions. I just cannot believe the other 56 United States aren't do well with jobs either. The smartest Harvard graduate in history has told us how great the economy is doing & all those empty strip malls, shopping centers, office buildings & factory are just empty for remodeling - for before the next stimulus.
Rich Patterson August 23, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Economic Development needs to take front stage. Commercial and Industrial Development will bring in much needed revenue and jobs for our community.
Mary Jane T J Connell October 30, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I have been out of work fo 20 months. I worked in Stratford. My unemployment ran out 3 weeks ago. Why can't Gov. Malloy give out more unemployment? I have two huge note book binders of jobs that I look for and still continue to look. It's not like I am sitting on my buns not looking for a job. Some thing has to be done to help those that need help.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »