Job Growth Surges in March


Connecticut’s employment numbers surged in March, with employers adding 4,900 jobs across a broad range of sectors.

The Department of Labor’s monthly employment report also revised February’s initially reported gain of 1,700 jobs to 2,600.

Connecticut has gained 13,300 net new jobs (0.8%) through the first quarter of 2024 and 18,900 over the past 12 months (1.1%).

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima called the March jobs report “a very positive sign for Connecticut’s economic momentum.”

“This is the growth we need to keep pace with the demands of the economy, but it’s important that we don’t take our foot off the gas,” he said.

The private sector added 4,400 jobs in March, with 16,400 new positions in the last 12 months, bringing sector employment to an all-time high of 1,475,600 jobs.

‘Great Start’

Department of Labor research director Patrick Flaherty said the NCAA basketball tournament, St. Patrick’s Day, and an early Easter helped drive big gains in the leisure and hospitality and retail trade sectors.

“We do not expect job growth to continue at this pace throughout the year, but 2024 is off to a great start,” he said.

Rhode Island leads the New England states in year-over-year job growth at 1.7%, followed by Maine (1.5%), New Hampshire (1.4%), Connecticut, Vermont (1%), and Massachusetts (0.6%).

12-Month Job Growth, March 2024

The national 12-month job growth rate is 1.9%, with U.S. employment gains continuing to exceed expectations.

Connecticut has recovered 104% of the historic 290,200 jobs lost to pandemic shutdowns and restrictions in March and April of 2020.

Maine leads the region at 117%, followed by New Hampshire (114%), Rhode Island (105%), Connecticut, Massachusetts (99%), and Vermont (95%). The U.S. recovery rate is 126%.

Labor Force

Connecticut’s labor force also continued to expand in March, with another 4,100 people added to the numbers of those either working or looking for work.

While the labor force remains 20,600 people (-1.1%) below pre-pandemic levels, DiPentima said recent trends “indicate a real easing in the labor market.”

“That’s a real positive for employers and our economy,” he said. “Connecticut now has 86,000 open jobs and approximately the same number of people looking for work.”

DiPentima said that recent trends “indicate a real easing in the labor market.”

He noted that as employers continue to cite a shortage of workers as their greatest challenge, growing the workforce must remain a priority.

“Solving the workforce challenge will take collaboration and partnerships from across private, public, and community sectors to increase opportunities and expand career pathways,” he said.

“It’s critical that we work together to enact policies and solutions to open doors for women, immigrants, returning citizens, veterans, and those from underserved and often forgotten communities.”

Industry Sectors, Labor Markets

Employment grew in eight of Connecticut’s 10 major industry sectors in March, led by leisure and hospitality, which added 2,100 jobs (1.4%).

Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 1,300 positions (0.4%), followed by education and health services (1,000; 0.3%), construction (700; 1.1%), manufacturing (500; 0.3%), government (500; 0.2%), other services (200; 0.3%), and financial activities (200; 0.2%).

The information sector remained unchanged for the month, while professional and business services lost 1,600 jobs (-0.7%).

All six of the state’s major labor market areas posted gains in March, led by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, which added 1,800 jobs (0.4%).

New Haven added 1,100 positions (0.4%), followed by Hartford (700; 0.1%), Danbury (600; 0.8%), Norwich-New London-Westerly (400; 0.3%), and Waterbury (200; 0.3%).


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