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The CERC Blog features topics about research, marketing and business development topics related to economic development, including monthly letters from our President and CEO.

Higher Education Attainment in Connecticut: A Map View

When the great recession in 2008 hit the economy, recently graduated students in addition to experienced professionals struggled to find jobs. One path to weather the economic storm was delaying entering the job market by continuing school, or going back to school, thereby waiting for a better labor market when the economy turned around. The result is a much more educated labor force today: the percentage with bachelor’s degrees or higher among the population of 18 years old and over increased from 25% in 2005-2009 to 28% in 2013-2017 for the US, and from 32% in 2005-2009 to 36% in 2013-2017 for Connecticut (US Census data, ACS 5-year estimates, 2009 and 2017; calculation by CERC)—more than a 10% increase from the pre-crisis level.

Such a change in the labor force brings potentially higher labor productivity, paving the road for long-term economic growth, while also contributing to a formidable student debt challenge in the US, which sows the seeds for the next recession. For better or worse, the following two maps take a more in-depth look at how higher education attainment level manifested during this period for each town in Connecticut.

The first map uses different shades to present, at the town level, the percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher from the population 18 years old and over during the recent period of 2013-2017.

The second map shows the change in this measure from the pre-recession 2005-2009 period to the period of 2013-2017. A blue tone represents an increase from the pre-recession period, while a red tone represents a decrease.

Overall, the increasing trend in higher education rate at the national and state levels hold true across most towns in Connecticut, but not uniformly so—the same measure sees a decrease in many towns. This decrease could be driven by many factors such as local-level migration, decreasing state investments in public higher education—a question beckoning more exploration case-by-case.

Photo of CCSU courtesy of Sage Ross.

by Mia Ying  |    |  Comments 

Taking Advantage of Video Marketing

planning producing marketing video

Using video in marketing campaigns, on websites, and in social media is hot - and highly effective - but where do you start?  In this episode of CERCONOMY, David Bibbey, the Emmy Award Winning producer of Connecticut Means Business joins Kristi Sullivan, Vice President of Marketing at CERC, to share best practices and ideas for the planning, producing, hosting, and promoting of marketing videos. 

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by Kristi Sullivan  |    |  Comments 

Perception is in the Eye of the Beholder


The clocks sprang forward this past weekend — which either means you lost an hour in the day, or you gained an hour of daylight. It depends on what your perception is, right? Which do you prefer, an hour lost or an hour gained?  Perception varies from person to person but is key to how you view things and how you make decisions. It’s also an important aspect in marketing and how you measure your success. 

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by Kristi Sullivan  |    |  Comments 

Verifying Business Registration and Professional or Trade Licenses

Happy Spring!!  It may not look or feel like spring but it is right around the corner.  In our house, we know spring is coming when we start talking about baseball tryouts and the desire to hit the fields.  Spring also marks a time when property owners start thinking about hiring contractors to fix all the winter damage to properties.  But do you think about whether a contractor is registered as a business or requires a license and have you verified that the contractor is licensed?  If not, you should.

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by Beth Wallace  |    |  Comments 

The Creative Economy

Photo courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

A treasure worth being discovered and nurtured within each of Connecticut’s communities are its artists. Each provide a unique perspective of their locale, with works that may be rightly displayed as homegrown. Too often the arts are considered something that requires a cost to the community: a line item in the budget, with little thought of the return. But the returns can be significant.

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by Kevin Bielmeier  |    |  Comments 

Takeaways from the IEDC Leadership Summit

Courtney Hendricson, the Vice President of Municipal Services, recently attended the IEDC Leadership Summit in Florida and in this episode, she provides an overview of the high-value presentations and panels that she attended.

From the South Florida regional focus on business recruitment in the tech area, to infrastructure quality serving as a catalyst for industry clusters, to reverse engineering for workforce development, Courtney shares her takeaways from the summit and ideas on new ways to think about local economic development.


by Courtney Hendricson  |    |  Comments 

Spending Wisely: Making Good Public Investment Decisions in a Tough Fiscal Environment

The state’s budget issues have precipitated significant financial tightening for many municipalities and agencies across the state. This environment has generated renewed urgency to realize cost savings, while maintaining or increasing the level of service provided. Similarly, businesses that need to improve their performance need a decision-making process to determine where to most effectively spend limited resources.

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by Rachel Gretencord  |    |  Comments 

Industries in Transition

industries in transition

While preparing an economic outlook for a recent edition of the Connecticut Economic Digest, Alissa DeJonge, CERC’s Vice President of Research, investigated global and national trends focused on several industries that are in transition - and what these changes mean for Connecticut’s economy and business sectors.

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by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments