Employers Add 4,700 Jobs in May


Connecticut employers added 4,700 jobs in May, marking five consecutive months of hiring gains.

Private sector employment grew by 4,200 (0.3%) and is at a historic high of 1,476,100 jobs, up 0.7% from the December 2018 peak.

The Department of Labor’s monthly employment report also revised April’s initially reported gain of 1,100 jobs to 1,600.

Connecticut’s labor force also expanded for a fifth consecutive month, with another 3,500 people added to the numbers of those either working or looking for work.

The labor participation rate grew slightly to 64.7%—17th best in the country.

The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a point in May to 4.3%, tied for highest in the region and ninth highest of all states.


Connecticut has gained 15,200 net new jobs (0.9%) through the first five months of 2024 and 18,000 over the past 12 months (1.1%).

“It’s encouraging to see Connecticut continue this positive economic momentum,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said.

“These numbers are cause for optimism, and we must focus on building on this momentum.

12-Month Job Growth, May 2024

Connecticut’s year-over-year job growth is 42nd best in the country, with the national average at 1.6%.

Vermont’s 12-month growth rate is 1.9%, the best of the New England states and tied for 16th fastest in the U.S.

Rhode Island’s rate matches the national average, followed by New Hampshire (1.5%), Maine (1.4%), Connecticut, and Massachusetts (0.6%).

Job Openings

Connecticut has recovered 104% of the historic 298,300 jobs lost to pandemic shutdowns and restrictions in March and April of 2020.

Maine leads the region at 118%, followed by New Hampshire (116%), Rhode Island (104%), Connecticut, Massachusetts (98%), and Vermont (98%). The U.S. recovery rate is 128%.

Connecticut’s labor force remains 16,500 people (-0.9%) below pre-pandemic levels, with approximately 1.1 job openings for every unemployed person.

Pandemic Recovery: Job, Labor Force Growth, March 2020-May 2024

Connecticut was one of 18 states posting an increase in job openings in April, based on the U.S. Bureau of Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, released June 18.

DiPentima said the state’s 90,000 job openings represented a 34% increase over pre-pandemic levels.

“There are still 90,000 open jobs in Connecticut, and 81,800 looking for work,” he said. 

“This gap is closing, and it’s critical that we focus on solutions that will continue to create rewarding career opportunities for all Connecticut residents.”

Industry Sectors, Labor Markets

Employment increased in six of Connecticut’s 10 major industry sectors in May, led by leisure and hospitality, which added 1,800 jobs (1.2%).

Education and health services gained 1,600 positions (0.4%), followed by professional and business services (1,000; 0.5%), information (600; 2%), government (500; 0.2%), and trade, transportation and utilities (300; 0.1%).

Construction and mining was unchanged for the month.

Manufacturing employment declined by 500 last month (-0.3%), with other services losing 400 jobs (-0.6%) and financial activities down 200 (-0.2%).

Construction, education and health services, professional and business services, and trade, transportation, and utilities are the only sectors to have recovered all pandemic job losses.

Four of the state’s six major labor market areas posted gains in May, led by Hartford-West-Hartford-East Hartford with 3,000 new jobs (0.5%).

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk added 2,000 positions (0.5%), followed by Norwich-New-London-Westerly (700; 0.6%) and Danbury (100; 0.1%).

Employment in New Haven and Waterbury was unchanged last month.


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