Stratford Unemployment Rate One Point Higher Than State Average

Mayor John A. Harkins says the unemployment rate is reflective of Stratford's "bedroom community."

More than 10 percent of Stratford residents are unemployed, according to July statistics released by the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Of the town's 26,781-strong labor force, 2,726 are currently unemployed, which equates to a 10.2 percent unemployment rate. The statewide average is 9.2, and the national rate is 9.1.

Mayor John A. Harkins attributed the higher-than-average unemployment rate to the type of workforce in Stratford.

"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."

However, steps have been taken to attract more jobs in-house, Harkins wrote.

"In the last year, Federal Express has added 100 jobs, and Yale-New Haven Health has brought 200 jobs to town," he wrote. "Additionally, Dog Star Studios (125 jobs) is inching closer to a deal at the former Exxon Mobil site, and a 15,000 square-foot facility targeting medical office jobs has been built on Hawley Lane."

Still, Stratford is struggling to employ its own residents, as is neighboring Bridgeport, which was found to have the second highest July unemployment rate of 14.2. Hartford had the highest rate at 16.9.

Milford had an unemployment rate of 8.0, Fairfield came in at 7.9, and Stamford, which had the largest recorded labor force in the state at 69,057 people, had a rate of 7.5.

What do you think of Stratford's 10.2 unemployment rate? Tell us in the comments section below.

max August 24, 2011 at 12:14 PM
The average age of Stratford's unemployment reflects the "baby boomer" component of town demographics. Those over 50 are getting hit hardest by layoffs more than other workers. I know, I'm one of the 10.2%. It's tough being unemployed at this point in life and with the current economy. Yes I actively look for a job but with little success--- I use what I've saved in modest retirement funds (paying high penalty w/d rates) to sustain living in Stratford and being current with bills and taxes. Want to buy a house in Paradise Green?
Cathy August 24, 2011 at 01:28 PM
I think that the unemployment rate for Stratford, as well as other areas, is much higher than shown. Among the 'unemployed' are those who were previously self-employed and are now unemployed, but not counted among the statistics because they can't collect unemployment.
Linda Palermo August 24, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Lived in Stratford 60 years +/- earlier in life traveled to many states and out of Country, due to the nature of my employment. First time I’ve heard of it being a "bedroom community." We paid our taxes and bills then as we do now, collected unemployment when necessary based on proper requirements. Numerous town employees live out of town that do not contribute to our tax base, yet they come hear to work because they know they will get paid top dollar & benefits. Mayor Harkins know s contributed to PW employee’s job cuts and others. He approved an employee among the rank and file at the PD to get a position reinstated & approved getting back pay for at least one year. Last year after budget approval he hired employee’s to work in his office. This year he voted on his own budget. Stonybrook Garden’s, taxes increased by approximately 45% last year with 40% of the members living there are on fixed income, who do not travel out of the community to get paid. What kind of "Community"?
G townsend August 24, 2011 at 09:01 PM
The Mayor has contributed to layoffs of some very qualified employees who are now either out on the street( not paying mortgages,taxes) or in a job they are not nearly as qualified.Of course the work is being contracted out all over town.The cost payed by cap improvements which is bonded for 20 years.


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