Connecticut Reaches Full Pandemic Jobs Recovery


Connecticut employers added 3,700 jobs in October, with the state reaching full recovery of the hundreds of thousands of positions lost to pandemic restrictions and shutdowns in 2020.

The state Department of Labor also revised up September’s initially reported 3,200 increase to a gain of 3,700 jobs.

Five of the state’s 10 main industry sectors have recovered all COVID losses and are in growth mode, led by professional and business services, where employment is now 3.2% above pre-pandemic levels.

Concerns remain with two key sectors: manufacturing has recovered just 76% of sector losses while financial activities employs 8,100 fewer people than before the pandemic.

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima called the addition of 3,700 jobs in October “another reason for optimism.”

“It’s important that we seize this opportunity, build on this momentum, and work to further grow the population and fill open jobs,” he said.

Job Openings

Connecticut has 96,000 job openings—29,000 (43%) more than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are 1.5 job openings for every unemployed person,” DiPentima said.

“Solutions like those CBIA has raised to further address affordability, childcare, and housing are critical to filling these rewarding career opportunities.”

Connecticut has 43% more job openings than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s labor force—those working and those looking for work—increased by 1,200 in October, the second consecutive month of gains.

The labor force has declined by 38,900 people (2%) since February 2020, challenging employers across numerous industries looking to fill a range of jobs.

DiPentima said the slow pace of manufacturing job growth remains a concern given the sector’s importance to the state’s economy.

“It’s critical to expand career pathways to ensure that the manufacturing ecosystem and all industry sectors are positioned for growth,” he said.

Regional, National Recovery

New Hampshire’s 112% pandemic recovery rate is the region’s best, followed by Maine (111%), Massachusetts (106%), Connecticut, Rhode Island (89%), and Vermont (88%). The U.S. average is 121%.

Connecticut’s 12-month job growth is 1.8%, 22nd best in the country and just one-tenth of a point behind the national rate.

Massachusetts leads the region at 2.1%, followed by New Hampshire (1.9%), Connecticut, Maine (1.4%), Vermont (1.1%), and Rhode Island (0.5%).

12-Month Job Growth, October 2023

The state’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5% in October, four-tenths of points better than the national rate and 33rd best in the country.

Vermont’s unemployment rate is 2%, the region’s lowest and third best in the U.S., followed by New Hampshire (2.1%), Rhode Island (2.7%), Massachusetts (2.8%), Maine (2.8%), and Connecticut.

Connecticut’s labor participation rate remained steady at 64.1%, 20th best of all states.

Industry Sectors, Labor Markets

Six of Connecticut’s 10 major industry sectors added jobs in October, led by trade, transportation, and utilities where employment grew by 2,600 (0.9%).

Educational and health services gained 1,400 positions (0.4%), followed by other services (800; 1.3%), construction and mining (600; 1%), information (300; 0.9%), and government (100; 0.04%).

The manufacturing and leisure and hospitality sectors each lost 800 jobs last month, or 0.5%.

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

Employment in financial activities fell by 300 (-0.3%) and professional and business services lost 200 jobs (-0.1%).

Four of the state’s six major labor market areas posted employment gains last month, led by Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford with 1,500 new jobs (0.3%).

Waterbury added 200 jobs (0.3%) while Norwich-New London-Westerly and Danbury each gained 100 new positions (0.1%).

Employment in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk declined by 300 (-0.1%) and New Haven lost 100 jobs (-0.03%).


2 thoughts on “Connecticut Reaches Full Pandemic Jobs Recovery”

  1. Tony Baker says:

    Can you explain how you made the graph showing a -189% growth rate?

    1. joe.budd says:

      That graph shows COVID job recovery rate by sector. The finance sector has 7,900 fewer people employed than before the pandemic–it lost 2,800 jobs to COVID lockdowns and restrictions in March and April of 2020 and has continued to shrink.

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