Connecticut's employment outlook stumbled in September. Overall, the state lost 500 jobs for the month, with the private sector shedding 1,000 positions.

The Department of Labor's latest monthly employment report also revised August's initially reported gain of 1,100 jobs to an increase of 3,300.

Connecticut job market volatilityWhy is Connecticut's job market so volatile?

It's a question of stability—or the lack of it—says CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia.

"We have good news in some of our key sectors but stability is still lacking," he said following today's release of the September report.

"Volatility continues to impact our job market, highlighting the need for greater policy focus on fiscal stability and economic growth.

"It will be up to those candidates elected in November to create an environment that stimulates stronger investment and job creation."

Post-Recession Recovery

The state's unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a point to 4.2% in August, a half-point higher than the national average and the highest of the six New England states.

Connecticut has now recovered 90% of the 119,100 jobs lost during the 2008-2010 recession.

Private sector recovery is stronger—114% of 111,700 lost jobs—although Gioia says Connecticut's recovery rates are the slowest in the region.

"We have a mixed picture," he said.

"The private sector has added 23,400 jobs year-over-year, but despite that growth there's clearly a lot of uncertainty.

"Demographic challenges with our aging workforce and a skilled talent shortage hold us back slightly, but more than that—we need more consistency month-to-month."

Industry Sectors

Employment in five of the state's 10 industry sectors declined in September, with trade, transportation, and utilities losing 2,300 jobs. That sector is down 4,100 jobs (-1.4%) over the last 12 months.

The leisure and hospitality sector lost 1,100 jobs, followed by information (-400), education and health services (-300), and professional and business services (-200).

Construction posted the largest gain of any sector for the month, adding 1,000 jobs with employment up 5,000 positions (8.6%) over the last 12 months.

Financial activities added 1,100 jobs, followed by manufacturing (800), other services (500), and government (500).

"For the first time this year, financial activities is in the black and that's important," Gioia said.

We won't regain full economic strength until we have our two powerhouses—financial activities and manufacturing—really going strong.
— Economist Pete Gioia
"Manufacturing also remains strong, with year-over-year growth of 5,600 jobs or 3.5%.

"We won't regain full economic strength until we have our two powerhouses—financial activities and manufacturing—really going strong."

Two of the state's six main labor market areas added jobs in September, led by Hartford with 1,200 new positions. The region has added 9,300 jobs (1.6%) over the last 12 months.

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk added 500 jobs over the month, with 12-month growth of 2,800 jobs (0.7%).

New Haven saw the largest decline in September, losing 1,100 jobs. Waterbury and Danbury declined by 300 positions and Norwich-New London-Westerly lost 200 jobs.