NORWALK, Conn. – The unemployment rate in Norwalk at the end of 2012 was slightly lower than at the end of the previous year but fewer people were working than a year ago.
At the end of December, 45,107 people of Norwalk’s 48,233-member labor force were working while 3,126 people were unemployed, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor . That equals an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent. At the end of the previous year, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent. During that year, the work force dropped 1,421, the number of people working dropped 1,265 and the number of unemployed people dropped 156.
"The state's trend of a declining labor force continues for the sixth month in a row and was the primary factor behind the declining unemployment rate in December," said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research at the Department of Labor.
"With the arrival of the December preliminary jobs report, it is apparent that the rate of job growth slowed considerably in the last half of the year, however, we expect the level of jobs in the state to be revised upward when the benchmark is complete in March," he said
The Norwalk figures reflect a trend in Fairfield County and the rest of the state. Fairfield County’s unemployment rate dropped from 8 percent to 7 percent, while the work force lost 15,490 members. Connecticut’s overall unemployment rate dropped from 8.8 to 7.8, while the work force lost 64,307 members.
Norwalk’s average unemployment rate in 2012 was 7 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2008, when the average unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. In May 2012, the unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, the lowest it had been since December 2008 when it was 5.7 percent. The unemployment rate reached its peak in January 2011, when it was 9.1 percent.