Connecticut Ends 2023 with 94,000 Job Openings


Connecticut ended 2023 with 94,000 job openings—34% more vacancies than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Openings peaked at 102,000 in September and hit a low of 82,000 in May according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest job openings and labor turnover report.

However, demand for workers continued to outstrip supply, with the state’s labor force—those working and those looking for work—declining by 14,300 people in 2023.

The labor force is down 37,900 people since February 2020, with employers citing the shortage of workers as the main factor impacting economic growth.

“Connecticut businesses continue to see strong demand for their products and services,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima.

“But with 1.3 job openings for every unemployed person, the labor market is not meeting the demands of our economy.”

Business Costs

DiPentima said the state income tax cuts that took effect Jan. 1 “certainly make Connecticut a more affordable place to live more attractive to new residents.”

He also welcomed the legislature’s focus this session on increasing workforce housing options and expanding access to affordable, quality childcare.

“It’s also critical that lawmakers focus on lowering the cost of doing business, given that Connecticut is one of the most costliest states for business in the country,” he said.

Connecticut Job Openings, 2023
Connecticut has 34% more job openings than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

DiPentima said small businesses “need more champions in the General Assembly working to address their top challenges.”

“On the positive side, we welcome the introduction of legislation that both lowers the cost of healthcare and expands options for small business employees,” he said.

“At the same time, it was discouraging to again see more workplace mandate proposals that will further hike small business costs.”

Labor Force

Connecticut’s post-pandemic labor force declines are the region’s largest in percentage terms.

Rhode Island’s labor force grew 0.6% since February 2020, followed by Vermont (-0.9%), Maine (-1.2%), Massachusetts (-1.2%), New Hampshire (-1.4%), and Connecticut (-2%).

The U.S. labor force has grown 1.7% since February 2020.

DiPentima said small businesses “need more champions in the General Assembly working to address their top challenges.”

Connecticut has recovered 99% of all pandemic job losses, adding 22,700 jobs in 2023.

At 1.4%, that represented the fourth best job growth in the New England region and 32nd best among all states.

The state’s unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a point to 3.8% in 2023—36th highest in the country—while the labor participation rate remained unchanged at 64.1%, 19th best of all states.

Stable Workplaces

The BLS report also showed that Connecticut’s voluntary quits rate, now 12th lowest in the country, declined 14% over the last year.

The total separations rate fell 3% in the last 12 months and is now 14th lowest of all states.

However, the state’s hiring rate fell 3% to 3.5%, 32nd best in the country.

“Our workplaces remain very stable, with the average salary also one of the highest in the country,” DiPentima said.

DiPentima added that CBIA will continue advocating for solutions to the labor shortage during the legislative session, which began Feb. 7. 

“Opportunity is central to those solutions,” he said. “We cannot solve the crisis without improving and implementing career pathways for women, immigrants, returning citizens, veterans, and those from underserved communities.”


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