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Year Ends With Lower Unemployment In New London—But It's Still Higher Than Average

The city's 9.7 percent unemployment rate for November is lower than it has been all year, but it's still higher than the 7.3 percent rate for New London County and for the longterm unemployed, benefits ended on December 28, 2013.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
As the year draws to a close, the unemployment picture for the city of New London shows some improvement but it's still far from ideal.

The latest unemployment statistics released by the Connecticut Department of Labor in November show that New London's unemployment rate, like that of the state overall, has been steadily declining as Connecticut has gained jobs.

As of November, New London's unemployment rate was 9.7 percent. But though that's a significant drop compared to the start of 2013, when the city's unemployment rate was 11.7 percent, New London's unemployment rate remains significantly higher than the current state average of 7.6 percent. The city also the second highest unemployment rate of all municipalities in New London County. As of November, 2013, the highest rate of unemployment was 10 percent in Sprague. The average rate for New London County was 7.3 percent.

According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, New London's overall workforce has also declined. Since the start of 2013, New London has lost about 325 people from its labor force. The city's current labor force is roughly 13,479, of which about 1,304 people are unemployed.

And for many of those people, life just got tougher. Federal unemployment insurance benefits expired on December 28 for more than 20,000 Connecticut residents who had been out of work for more than 26 weeks.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is urging Congress to extend benefits for another three months to help the longterm unemployed. Although such a proposal has bipartisan support, many lawmakers are balking at the $6.5 billion it would cost the federal government to fund the extension.  

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