[Excerpt] Economic opportunity in the Greater New Haven area has remained stagnant in the past decade, according to a report released in late September by the nonprofit group DataHaven.

The report, entitled “Community Index 2013,” found that while the Greater New Haven area lost nearly 7,000 jobs between 2002 and 2012, the city of New Haven itself added nearly 4,000 jobs. The report suggests these changes are occurring partially because job opportunities in health care and education are expanding more rapidly than opportunities in other industries. Higher-wage jobs in these sectors tend to concentrate heavily in downtown New Haven, which helps explain the increase in city jobs, the report said.
“The report focuses on the current positions and trends in the region. It’s not designed to offer specific solutions,” Mark Abraham, the executive director of DataHaven said. “What we do want to do is to have a common point of reference for the community.”
The report cites insufficient transportation and expensive housing costs as two of the leading barriers to improved economic opportunity. Efficient transportation is key to economic success in a city because it facilitates access to jobs and goods, Abraham said. He added that this is important for both employees commuting to work and employers who want to have access to a large applicant pool.