NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk added more than 700 jobs last month, but the city’s unemployment rate has stalled because of a growing labor force, according to data released by the Connecticut Department of Labor last week.
Norwalk’s unemployment rate in July was 6.7 percent. The rate has not changed more than a tenth of a percentage point since April, when it took a half-point drop month-to-month.
But according to the Labor Department’s monthly count, 46,938 Norwalk residents were employed at the end of July, an increase of 773 over the previous month. Norwalk’s raw employment number has climbed by more than 2,000, or 4.6 percent, since April.
The number of people looking for work, however, has grown by the same amount. An estimated 3,385 people were unemployed in the city in July, a 4.9 percent increase since April. Overall more than 2,200 people have joined Norwalk’s total labor force since then, pushing the total amount of workers in the city over 50,000 for the first time this year.
July’s unemployment rate in Norwalk was a half percent lower than at the same time in 2012, when 7.2 percent of the city was out of work and looking. At the time 3,639 people were unemployed in Norwalk, out of a total labor force of 50,466.
Norwalk’s statistics have kept pace with the rest of the state’s this year. Overall, Connecticut’s unemployment rate in July 2013 was 8.3 percent, with an estimated 158,000 unemployed across the state.
The state level has not changed more than a percentage point for any month this year, and is half a percent lower than it was in July 2012. The state’s rate is also higher than the national rate of 7.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Connecticut added nearly 11,500 jobs despite the little change in unemployment rate said Andy Condon, director of the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Research. In total the state has seen 23,100 more non-farm jobs in the past year, with just as many people rejoining the labor force.
“Excluding May 2010, when jobs were boosted by temporary Census employment, this month’s non-farm job gain is the best so far during this recovery which began in February 2010,” Condon said. “Improvements were seen across most of Connecticut’s industry sectors.”