Connecticut added 12,000 new job openings in January, an 11.4% increase over the previous month as demand for workers continued to outstrip supply.

There are now a record 117,000 unfilled jobs in the state amid a shortage of workers that has reached crisis point.

Despite that record number of open jobs, Connecticut's unemployment rate was 5.3% in January, tied for sixth highest in the country and well above the U.S. rate of 3.8%.

"If every unemployed Connecticut resident found a job today, we'd still have 18,100 open jobs to fill," CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said.

"The labor crisis is impacting all industries, although it's particularly acute in highly skilled, high-paying sectors such as financial activities, information, and manufacturing."

By the Numbers: Connecticut's Labor Market

State2021 Job GrowthJob Openings (Jan. 2022)Monthly Change (%)Labor Force Change (since Feb. 2020)Unemployment Rate
Connecticut3.5%117,00011.4%-4.3%5.3%
Maine3%61,00029.8%-2.9%4.1%
Massachusetts5.5%277,0001.1%-0.5%4.8%
New Hampshire4.7%65,0004.8%-3.8%2.9%
Rhode Island5.2%40,0008.1%-0.5%4.2%
Vermont4.7%26,000-7.3%3%
United States4.7%11.3 million-1.6%-0.4%3.8%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Labor Force

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest report shows Connecticut was among nine states where job openings increased at the start of the year. Thirteen states posted declines, with the balance unchanged.

The state's labor force—the number of employed plus those actively looking for work—ended a two-month slide in January, growing by 13,700 residents.

However, the labor force has declined 4.3% since February 2020, with Connecticut responsible for 46% of the region's losses and 14% of the national decline.

Connecticut employment fell in January, down a net 700 positions—1,700 in the private sector—to break a nine-month growth streak.

The state has now recovered 78% of the 289,400 jobs lost in March and April of 2020 to pandemic shutdowns and restrictions. The U.S. recovery rate is 91%.

Regional, National Picture

Connecticut posted the region's second largest jump in job openings in January, with Maine adding 14,000 positions (27.8%).

Rhode Island added 3,000 new job openings (8.1%), followed by New Hampshire (3,000; 4.8%), and Massachusetts (3,000; 1.1%). Vermont was unchanged.

U.S. job openings fell to 11.3 million in January, a decline of 1.6%.

Connecticut's quits rate is now 2.2%, the third lowest in the country.

Voluntary resignations fell 5.3% in January. Connecticut's quits rate is now 2.2%, the third lowest in the country and well below the U.S. rate of 2.8%.

Layoffs and terminations rose to 14,000 as the Omicron variant disrupted the economy.

Connecticut's layoffs and 0.9% terminations rate matches the national rate and is tied with Maine and Massachusetts for the region's lowest.