Can Connecticut Create a Positive Job Growth Climate?
U.S. employers added 820,000 jobs since January 1, a healthy 0.5% growth rate.
New Hampshire and Maine both outperformed the national average with robust 0.8% growth, while Massachusetts added 24,100 positions (0.7%).
Vermont employment grew 0.6% since the beginning of 2019 while Rhode Island job growth is 0.5%.
And Connecticut? Unfortunately, it’s a familiar story—1,500 jobs lost since the beginning of the year, including 1,600 in the private sector.
That’s with an upward revision to March’s initially reported losses and a basically flat April, with just 300 new jobs based on the state Department of Labor’s monthly employment report.
“The April jobs report showed some improvement over what we had seen in the first three months,” said CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia. “We also saw a slight drop of a tenth of a point in the unemployment rate.
“However, this growth has been lethargic and is subpar compared with what we’re seeing in other parts of the country and New England.”
Need ‘Growth Conditions’
Gioia said other states experienced sustained increases in employment because they developed a positive climate to drive that growth.
“We have in place a base that is strong that could power very good job growth, including innovation, advanced manufacturing, and other areas,” he said.
“Connecticut needs to create the conditions that are conducive for growth. We don’t have that right now.
“We have to allow growth to happen here instead of elsewhere.”
Gioia said businesses, particularly small businesses, were increasingly concerned with the legislature’s continued focus on workplace mandates, including paid family and medical leave and increasing the minimum wage.
Connecticut has recovered just 82% of the 120,300 jobs lost in the 2008-2010 recession, the only New England state and one of just a handful of states in the country yet to reach full recovery.
Industry Sectors, Labor Markets
Half the state’s 10 major industry sectors added jobs in April, led by professional and business services, which added 1,600 positions.
Trade, transportation, and utilities added 700 jobs despite continued retail losses, followed by educational and health services (600), leisure and hospitality (400), and other services (100).
The information sector was unchanged for the month.
Construction led the four losing sectors, shedding 2,300 jobs or 3.7%. Labor department officials suggested the state’s cold, wet spring could be a factor.
Manufacturing lost 500 jobs in April, followed by government (-200), and financial activities (-100).
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk was the only one of the state’s main labor market areas to add jobs last month, gaining a modest 300 positions.
Hartford and New Haven both lost 800 jobs, followed by Norwich-New London-Westerly (-500), Danbury (-100), and Waterbury (-100).
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