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New London County Hit Hardest by COVID-19 Economic Disruptions

  • New London County suffered an 11.1 percent decline in economic output and jobs in 2020
  • Data shows that all eight Connecticut counties experienced decreases in economic indicators, though the impact was least pronounced in Tolland County
  • CBIA head says factors that predate the COVID-19 pandemic have had an impact on the state’s recovery

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

New London County saw the largest economic blow in Connecticut from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The report looked at the effect of the pandemic on all counties in the United States. New London County suffered an 11.1 percent drop in both economic output and the same decrease in jobs in the New London-Norwich-Westerly area, losing 14,300 positions.

Economic output fell in all other Connecticut counties as well, including:

  • An 8.4 percent decrease in Middlesex County
  • A 7.3 percent decrease in Hartford County
  • A 5.8 percent decrease in Fairfield County
  • A 5.6 percent decrease in Litchfield County
  • A 4.1 percent decrease in Windham County
  • A 3.5 percent decrease in New Haven County
  • A 1.1 percent decrease in Tolland County

Fairfield County accounted for about one-third of Connecticut’s GDP, while Hartford County made up 31 percent and New Haven County made up 19 percent. The rest of the counties in Connecticut collectively made up 17 percent of the state’s GDP.

Chris DiPentima, CEO and president of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, says the dip in economic output can be attributed in part to issues that existed in Connecticut before the pandemic struck. He noted how the state had not fully recovered all of the jobs lost in the Great Recession, and how it is lagging behind national trends in jobs growth.

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