Employment picture improves in Wilton

Wilton’s workforce has become more steadily employed since the height of the Great Recession, with this year’s average unemployment rate dipping below 5% for the first time in five years. In November, Wilton’s unemployment rate was 4.4%.

However, the same state records through November show that this year’s numbers remain distant from 2007, when, just before the recession, unemployment in town stood below 3%.

An area’s unemployment rate is equivalent to “the percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment and willing to work,” according to the financial information clearinghouse Investopedia.

A total of 8,562 residents of Wilton are considered part of the workforce, while an average of 392 were unemployed every month during 2014.

According to the Department of Labor, Connecticut has recovered approximately 78% of the total jobs lost during the recession (defined as occurring between March 2008 and February 2010), while 92% of private sector jobs have been recovered.

The department’s website lists the fastest-growing occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree:

  • Interpreters and translators.
  • Atmospheric and space scientists.
  • Meeting, convention and event planners.
  • Market research analysts and marketing specialists.
  • Biomedical engineers.
  • Personal finance advisers.
  • Athletic trainers.

Wilton’s improving situation for workers stands in line with national and state trends that show unemployment rates falling across the country. But Wilton is recovering a bit faster than both, with the town’s rate of unemployment nearly 1.5% lower than both the state and national averages for 2014, which rested at 6.2%.

On the state level, 1.9 million people are employable, while 118,300 are unemployed.

Other towns throughout Connecticut are not as lucky to have unemployment rates lower than the state average. In Waterbury, 11% of the workforce was unemployed in an average month, and in Sprague, that number was 8%.

Closer to home, the November unemployment rate for Wilton’s neighbors was:

  • New Canaan — 4.7%.
  • Redding — 3.9%.
  • Ridgefield — 4%.
  • Weston — 3.8%.
  • Westport — 4.3%.

Average earnings are up for those employed in Connecticut, where compared to November of last year, weekly private-sector wages have risen 6.2%.

Wilton is in an unusual situation in Fairfield County, as the number of people “in town” actually increases during school and business hours — when corporate campuses fill with employees.

Nevertheless, most residents find work outside the town, in New York City, Norwalk, Stamford, and other regional cities.