New London County Hit Hardest by Pandemic in 2020

12.17.2021
Economy

The pandemic hit New London County’s economy the hardest of Connecticut’s eight counties in 2020.

New London’s economic output fell 11.1% according to a new U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report examining the GDP of all 2,234 counties across the country.

The pandemic impacted Tolland County’s economy the least in 2020, with the county’s GDP declining 1.1% after expanding 2.5% the previous year.

New Haven’s economic output shrank 3.5% last year followed by Windham (-4.1%), Litchfield (-5.6%), Fairfield (-5.8%), Hartford (-7.3%), Middlesex (-8.4%), and New London.

Fairfield County’s GDP remained the largest in the state, responsible for $77.1 billion (33%) of the state’s $235.9 billion economy in 2020.

Hartford County accounted for 31% of the state’s GDP last year ($73.2 billion) followed by New Haven (19%; $45.5 billion), New London (7%; $15.6 billion), Middlesex (3%; $8.1 billion), Litchfield (3%; $7.2 billion), Tolland (2%; $4.9 billion), and Windham (2%; $4.4. billion).

Jobs Recovery

The Norwich-New London-Westerly region also saw the largest job losses—in percentage terms—of any of the state’s six major labor market areas in 2020, losing 11.1% or 14,300 jobs.

Employment in the Danbury labor market area fell 8.8% last year (-6,800), followed by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk (-35,300; -8.7%), Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford (-43,200; -7.3%), Waterbury (-4,100; -6%), and New Haven (-13,900; -4.7%).

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said the BEA’s county GDP report and the state’s slow jobs recovery point to issues that pre-date the pandemic.

“The labor shortage remains the single greatest threat facing our economic recovery.”

“We were one of the only states to not recover all jobs lost during the 2008-2010 recession,” he said.

“We trail most of the region and the country in recovering COVID-related job losses and our labor force has declined more than five percent since February 2020.

“Employers are struggling to fill tens of thousands of open positions—the labor shortage remains the single greatest threat facing our economic recovery and growth prospects.”

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