Between August 2013 and August 2014, Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped 1.2 percent, ranking the state #17 in the U.S. in the percentage reduction in unemployment during the year-long period. The data, compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), indicated that Connecticut’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, dropped from 7.8 percent to 6.6 percent. Connecticut’s top 20 finish among the states outpaced the New England states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, but was slightly behind Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as New York and New Jersey.
The largest reductions in unemployment during the 12-month period came in Illinois (2.5 percent decrease), Nevada (2.2 percent), Rhode Island (1.9 percent), Ohio (18 percent) Colorado and Indiana (1.7 percent), Michigan and Pennsylvania (1.6 percent). Also faring slightly better than Connecticut in reducing their state unemployment rate over the year were California, Idaho, New Hersey, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Washington, Kentucky and New York. North Carolina was tied with Connecticut.
In 45 states and the District of Columbia, the unemployment rate dropped between August 2013 and August 2014. In three states, the unemployment rate climbed during the year – Alabama, West Virginia and Alaska - and in two states, the rate remained unchanged – Virginia and Wyoming.
Connecticut was also one of 27 states deemed to have "statistically significant" changes in their unemployment rate, according to the federal agency. The BLS data was updated as of September 19, 2014 for the 12-month period, and subsequently made available on the agency's website.
Among Connecticut's neighboring states in the region, according to the data, the unemployment rate as of August 2014 is higher in Rhode Island (7.7 percent), the same as Connecticut in New Jersey (6.6 percent), and lower in New York (6.4 percent), Massachusetts (5.8 percent), Maine (5.6 percent), New Hampshire (4.4 percent) and Vermont (4.1 percent).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant, the agency's website explains.