Manufacturing jobs are growing again in Connecticut, but plenty more are needed.

According to the Connecticut Manufacturers Register, the state added 811 manufacturing jobs between June 2015 and June 2016.

(The Connecticut Department of Labor's July employment report shows net growth of 600 jobs since July 2015.)

This is good news, as each new manufacturing job has a high multiplier rate, adding two to five jobs elsewhere in the economy.

Connecticut Manufacturing JObs
As of July, manufacturing accounted for 9.4% of all Connecticut jobs.

Connecticut is now at 159,900 manufacturing jobs, or 9.4% of non-farm employment, still shy of the state’s post-recession high of 166,000 manufacturing jobs.

That was in August 2011, when the manufacturing sector represented 10.2% of all non-farm employment.

Today’s figures pale in comparison, however, to our peak over the last 25 years.

In January 1991, Connecticut had 292,000 manufacturing jobs. At that time, manufacturing accounted for 18.4% of all non-farm jobs.

The Register notes that transportation equipment—chiefly aerospace engines and submarines—leads the way in manufacturing employment.

Demand for manufacturing jobs is on the upswing. Let’s get to work on supplying that demand.
Several companies have expanded their Connecticut facilities, reopened facilities in the state, or relocated to Connecticut from other states.

Connecticut has recovered only 83% of the jobs we lost in the Great Recession, but the trend has been toward creating more low-paying service jobs.

Growth in higher-paying sectors, like manufacturing and finance, is precisely what's needed to boost and stabilize state revenues.

How can Connecticut accelerate this growth?

We know from CBIA surveys that thousands of manufacturing jobs go begging to be filled.

We can meet the challenge of producing a greater supply of qualified candidates by accelerating the progress the state has made in expanding training opportunities over the last ten years.

More is needed, and needed now.

Demand for manufacturing jobs is on the upswing. Let’s get to work on supplying that demand.

Pete Gioia is an economist with CBIA. Follow him on Twitter @CTEconomist.