In the kickoff to the 2011IForum Series, Northeastern University economist Barry Bluestone warned more than 125 attendees in a packed Lyceum that Connecticut’s economy will sink unless it counters demographic trends that show a region-leading decline of young, skilled workers.
Bluestone, 66, dean of Northeastern's School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, said Connecticut population growth in the next decade will be less than a third of the national average and the lowest in New England. But worse, he said, those needing government help and contributing little in taxes - 65-84-year-olds - will increase more than 27% over the decade while the demographic groups who pay more in taxes and need fewer services - 18-24-year-olds and 45-64-year olds - will shrink compared to the nation at large.
"If the projections are true, Connecticut's in trouble," Bluestone said. Bluestone said affordable homes that young workers and families need must be built to house them in communities with "good schools and safe streets."
Bluestone’s speech was followed by a response panel that include Yale lecturer and Webster Bank economist Nicholas Perna, workforce specialist Dr. Fred McKinney, Hartford Hospital Vice President Yvette Melendez, MetroHartford Alliance President Oz Griebel and Department of Labor Economist Patrick Flaherty.
To view Professor Bluestone's powerpoint from the event, click here.
The Hartford Courant's Rick Green: More Babies, Part II
CT Mirror: If 'demography is destiny,' Connecticut's future is grim
CTN video of the forum
Check out pictures of the event!