Nineteen of the 20 metropolitan areas that fared the best economically though the recession–including Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford–had growth in government jobs, Brookings reports in its latest MetroMonitor.

Overall, employment was significantly stronger in the Hartford area during the recession than in the state’s other two metropolitan areas, Brookings said, falling just 1.5 percent from its peak to the first quarter of this year. Employment dropped by 7.5 percent in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area and 8 percent in the New Haven-Milford area. Among 100 metros nationwide, Hartford ranked 6th in employment performance, Bridgeport 71st and New Haven 76th.

New Haven and Bridgeport also suffered more from the recession in general: Bridgeport was among the 20 weakest metros, and New Haven among the second-weakest 20 on a scale that measured employment, the unemployment rate, gross metropolitan product, and housing prices.

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