DARIEN, Conn. — Darien's unemployment rate at the end of 2012 was slightly lower than at the end of the previous year, but fewer people in town were working than a year ago.
At the end of December, 8,619 people of Darien's 9,132-member work force were working with 513 people unemployed, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor. That equals an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent. In December 2011, the labor force was 9,369, with 8,825 working and 544 unemployed. That equals an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.
The Darien numbers reflect trends seen in Fairfield County and across the state. Fairfield County's unemployment rate dropped from 8 percent to 7 percent from December 2011 to December 2012. Its labor force also dropped from 481,769 to 466,279 in that time. Statewide, the unemployment rate went from 8.8 percent to 7.8 percent, while the labor force dropped from 1,918,127 to 1,853,820.
"The state's trend of a declining labor force continues for the sixth month in a row and was the primary factor behind the declining unemployment rate in December," said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research at the Department of Labor.
"With the arrival of the December preliminary jobs report, it is apparent that the rate of job growth slowed considerably in the last half of the year, however, we expect the level of jobs in the state to be revised upward when the benchmark is complete in March."
According to state figures, Darien's unemployment rate hit 5.3 percent in October 2011, its lowest point since before the 2008 financial crisis, when its unemployment rate hovered at 3 percent or 4 percent. After October 2011, it began to steadily rise again. It hit 6.8 percent in July 2012, the highest it had been since July 2009. It then began to fall again until finishing out the year at 5.6 percent.