Connecticut’s jobs recovery continued at a slower-than-average pace in May, with employers adding just 1,600 positions.
Despite most sectors showing growth, the critical manufacturing and construction sectors lost positions.
Through the first five months of the year, Connecticut has added 12,700 jobs. That 0.8% growth rate is half the national rate and the second slowest of the New England states.
Massachusetts leads the region in year-to-date job growth at 1.9%, followed by Rhode Island (1.8%), New Hampshire (1.3%), Maine (1.2%), Connecticut, and Vermont (0.6%).
“Connecticut residents are more concerned than ever about the state’s economy,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said.
“We need to hear solutions from candidates on the campaign trail that will address the state’s labor shortage and help employers who are already struggling with soaring inflation.”
Connecticut has recovered 83% of the 289,400 jobs lost in March and April of 2020 to pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions.
At 99%, Maine leads the region, followed by New Hampshire (93%), Rhode Island (90%), Massachusetts (88%), Connecticut, and Vermont (77%).
The U.S. recovery rate is 96%.
“The state’s unemployment rate is 4.2% and remains one of the highest in the region,” DiPentima said. "Our labor market also has failed to fully recover from the pandemic.
“Even if every unemployed person found a job tomorrow, we would still have 31,300 left to fill.
“CBIA urges lawmakers to focus on attracting and keeping skilled workers by making it easier to obtain occupational licenses in Connecticut, exploring ways to become a more immigrant-friendly state, and keeping college students here following graduation.”
Industry Sectors, Labor Markets
Seven of the state’s 10 main industry sectors added jobs in May, led by professional and business services, which added 1,400 positions (0.6%).
Education and health services gained 800 jobs (0.2%), followed by information (500; 1.7%), other services (500; 0.8%), leisure and hospitality (500; 0.3%), trade, transportation, and utilities (400; 0.1%), and financial activities (300; 0.3%).
The critical construction and mining (-1,300; -2.1%) and manufacturing (-200; -0.1%) sectors reported losses, along with the government sector, which includes casino employment (-1,300; -0.6%).
“It is discouraging to see the construction and manufacturing sector lose positions,” DiPentima said. “These sectors are critical to driving economic growth in Connecticut.”
Two of the state’s six main labor markets posted gains, while four declined.
Norwich-New London-Westerly added 500 jobs (0.4%) followed by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk with 200 positions (0.1%).
New Haven lost 1,000 jobs (-0.3%), followed by Danbury (-400; -0.5%), Hartford (-400; -0.1%), and Waterbury (-300; -0.5%).