Job Growth: Stuck in First Gear
Connecticut’s October jobs report represents a mixed bag, to say the least. While employers added 1,200 new positions last month, the unemployment rate rose to 9%.
That’s significantly higher than the national rate of 7.9%. And to make matters worse, the Department of Labor revised September’s numbers – the originally reported gain of 2,000 jobs is now a loss of 400.
The state has registered five months of job losses in 2012 and four months of gains [see above figure], for a calendar-year gain of just 1,400 jobs.
In the last 12 months, however, Connecticut has lost 2,800 jobs, well behind last year’s pace of 12,000 new positions through October.
Race to create jobs
“The year-over-year numbers are pointing to a real weakness in our economic recovery,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia. “We’re in a race to create jobs and we can’t get out of first gear.”
The October numbers continue what is has become a volatile pattern, with the household and business surveys – the respective sources of the unemployment rate and jobs numbers – seemingly contradicting each other.
Governor Dannel Malloy has cast a skeptical eye over the monthly jobs numbers since the end of the summer.
“If these conflicting results tell any single story, it’s that more people are attempting to enter the workforce because conditions are beginning to improve,” he said in a statement today.
“The bottom line is this – a slight change in either direction should only serve as a reminder of the important work we have left to do to turn our economy around.”
Quarterly economic picture
The results of CBIA’s latest quarterly economic survey also were released today and further illustrate the growing gap between the state and national economic recoveries.
CBIA’s Quarterly Economic Survey: Third Quarter 2012 found that while 25% of the state’s business executives believe the U.S. economy is improving, just 13% feel the same way about Connecticut’s economic prospects.
In the second quarter, just 12% of survey respondents were bullish on the national economy while 9% forecast an improving state economy.
“The good news is that executives are slightly less negative on the outlook for both the U.S. and Connecticut economies,” said Gioia.
“But there’s a widening gap in expectations for the state compared with the national picture.”
The quarterly economic survey found that 44% thought the state’s economy would worsen (compared with 58% in the first quarter), while 42% believed it would remain stable (up from 33%).
Those responses contrast sharply with national expectations: 36% of respondents said the U.S. economy would worsen (down from 54% in the second quarter) and 39% forecast stability (33%).
“These numbers, particularly for the state’s economic picture, show little improvement over the second quarter,” Gioia said. “It confirms a fairly flat, slow economic recovery.”
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