Connecticut economy on the upswing as more people move into the state

Eric Bedner, Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.
·2 min read

Feb. 23—Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Connecticut is seeing a surge in home sales and positive economic trends, fostering enthusiasm among small businesses and state officials.

While the state has faced a steady decline in net migration over the past decade, the Department of Economic and Community Development has been tracking positive trends through the U.S. Postal Service, which is showing an influx of people moving to Connecticut, primarily from New York.

DECD Deputy Commissioner Glendowlyn Thames said Tuesday that Connecticut has seen more than 16,500 new residents in 2020, compared to more than 7,000 people moving out of the state in 2019.

The state is also seeing a large increase in new businesses, increasing 9% from the same time last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

One such business is Aquiline Drones, which has made its home in downtown Hartford.

CEO Barry Alexander said he and other small businessowners hope to "revitalize Connecticut," as his company plans to continue to grow, potentially opening a restaurant on the Connecticut River and using Aquiline drones to deliver food to boats on the river.

Not only are businesses beginning to thrive once again, the state's housing market has "exploded," Thames said.

Carol Christiansen, president of the Connecticut Association of Realtors, credited Gov. Ned Lamont during a press conference today with keeping real estate transactions ongoing throughout the pandemic, a decision she said has helped lead to an increase of between 18% and 20% over the past 12 months.

"No one would have ever guessed that 2020 would be the busiest real estate market in over a decade," Christiansen said.

Lamont said people are beginning to "rediscover the Connecticut lifestyle."

"I think our economy is a little bit like a coiled spring," he said, adding that trends began to look promising before the pandemic first hit the state.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the new found enthusiasm is due to the quality of life that exists in the state, a lower cost of doing business as compared to New York City or Boston, and a pool of talented and available employees.

During session, Eric can be found at the Capitol in Hartford, reporting the information that readers want and need to know. For insights and updates on legislation, politicians, committees, and commissions that affect the entire state of Connecticut, follow Eric on Twitter: @BednerEric.