Jobs Report: Disappointment Follows Shutdown
The federal government shutdown forced the Connecticut Department of Labor to postpone its monthly jobs report for September. When the numbers finally found daylight today, they were anything but encouraging.
“We lost 4,100 jobs in September and another 100 in October,” CBIA economist Pete Gioia said. “So, overall the report was disappointing.”
Gioia noted that the state gained 11,600 jobs since this time last year, led by the construction sector’s 5,200 new positions.
“Other sectors are not doing as well, and unfortunately two of them are very high value industries,” Gioia said.
“Manufacturing and financial services are down in jobs year over year and this is something that is a concern for the economy.”
Connecticut’s unemployment rate did fall two-tenths of a point since August to 7.9%. It has not been below 8% since April 2009.
The labor department said uncertainty leading up to the October 1 federal shutdown and seasonal adjustment issues in public education may have impacted the September and October figures.
“The September and October reports are sending mixed signals about Connecticut’s labor markets,” said Andy Condon, the agency’s research director.
“The weeks leading up to the federal government shutdown, evidently, led to increased economic uncertainty and hiring indecision across the state.
“On a positive note, the state’s unemployment rate has declined for two months in a row primarily driven by a reduced number of unemployed individuals.”
Leisure and hospitality suffered the biggest job losses of any sector in September, shedding 1,800 positions, a reflection of summer’s end.
Financial activities lost 1,300 jobs in September, followed by professional and business services (-1,100) and manufacturing (-800).
The government sector added 1,400 jobs in September then lost 1,100 positions in October, with most of those losses in local government. Federal workers furloughed because of the shutdown were eventually paid and are counted as employed for both months.
Trade, transportation, and utilities lost 800 jobs in October, with retailers cutting 1,100 positions. Professional and business services shed 600 jobs, followed by other services (-300) and manufacturing (-100).
All six labor market areas lost jobs in September, with all but Waterbury registering small declines. Waterbury lost 1,000 jobs in that month before rebounding in October with 1,000 new positions.
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford added 1,500 jobs in October, while New Haven gained 600 positions, followed by Danbury and Norwich-New London with 200 apiece.
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk lost 900 jobs in October, the only labor market area with declines for the month.
Connecticut has recovered 58,900, or 48.6% of the jobs lost during the March 2008-February 2010 recession.
The state is averaging 1,339 new jobs a month through the 44 months of the post-recession recovery.
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