Connecticut Nears Full COVID Jobs Recovery


Connecticut added 2,100 jobs in August, moving within a few thousand jobs of recovering all positions lost in 2020 to pandemic shutdowns and restrictions.

The Department of Labor’s latest monthly employment report shows 99% of the historic 289,100 jobs lost in March and April of 2020 have been recovered.

Five of the state’s 10 main industry sectors have recovered all COVID losses and are in growth mode, led by professional services, where employment is now 3.7% above pre-pandemic levels.

Concerns remain with two key sectors: manufacturing has recovered just 72% of sector losses while financial activities employs 7,800 fewer people than before the pandemic.

“The August job gains are good to see, especially on the heels of the positive July report,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said.

“Even with a downward revision in July’s numbers, the private sector is now finally fully recovered from the pandemic.”

Growth Rate

New Hampshire has the region’s best recovery rate at 108%, followed by Maine (107%), Massachusetts (107%), Connecticut, Vermont (89%), and Rhode Island (87%). The U.S. average is 118%.

Connecticut’s 12-month job growth is 1.3%, 37th in the country and seven-tenths of a point slower than the national rate.

Massachusetts leads the region at 2.4%, followed by New Hampshire (1.4%), Connecticut, Maine (1%), Vermont (0.5%), and Rhode Island (-1.4%).

Connecticut’s labor force declined for an eighth consecutive month in August, further challenging employers trying to fill the state’s 92,000 job openings—37% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

12-Month Job Growth, August 2023
Connecticut’s 12-month job growth is seven-tenths of a point slower than the national rate.

“There is still work to be done as Connecticut still trails much of the country in job growth since the pandemic and even going back to the Great Recession,” DiPentima said.

“While the state has added more than 11,000 jobs this year, our labor force—those working and those looking for work—has shrunk by 16,000. 

“The continued decline in the state’s labor force is undermining our economy, with almost half of Connecticut businesses saying it’s the greatest threat to economic growth.

“CBIA and the business community continue to push solutions that address the factors behind the labor shortage, including incentivizing private sector housing investments, restoring the pass-through entity tax credit, and incentives for first-time home buyers.”

Industry Sectors, Labor Markets

Six of Connecticut’s 10 major industry sectors added jobs in August, led by education and health services, where employment increased by 800 (0.2%).

Professional and business services gained 700 positions (0.3%), followed by construction and mining (500; 0.8%), trade, transportation, and utilities (500; 0.2%), manufacturing (400; 0.3%), and information (200; 0.6%).

Other services posted the biggest loss in August, shedding 400 jobs, a 0.7% decline.

Connecticut COVID-19 Jobs Recovery, August 2023
Half of Connecticut’s 10 main industry sectors have recovered COVID job losses and are now in growth mode.

Leisure and hospitality lost 300 jobs (-0.2%), followed by financial activities (-100; -0.3%) and government (-100; -0.04%).

Four of the state’s six major labor market areas saw job gains in August, led by New Haven with 1,800 new jobs (0.6%).

Employment in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk increased by 1,400 jobs (0.3%), with the greater Hartford region adding 1,200 positions (0.2%) and Norwich-New London-Westerly gaining 400 (0.3%).

The Danbury and Waterbury labor markets were unchanged in August.


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