Jobs: The Long Road Back
Today’s release of Connecticut’s March jobs numbers reinforced not only the tenuous nature of the state’s economic recovery, it also provided a clear reminder of how far we have to go.
After two successive months of growth, Connecticut lost 2,700 jobs in March. The state Department of Labor did revise February’s numbers to 6,000 new jobs, against a previously reported gain of 4,900 positions.
“Some of the sectors that showed strong gains earlier in the year, showed losses in February,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia. “That really illustrates the fragile nature of the state’s economic recovery while highlighting just how far we have to go to restore our economy.
“Job growth this year is basically just half a percent and that’s not spectacular by any stretch of the imagination. And we’ve only recovered less than one-third of the jobs that were lost during the recession.”
Gioia also noted that while the state’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.7 percent in March, that was largely attributable to people leaving the workforce rather than job gains.
While noting that the state’s unemployment rate now stood at a three-year low, Governor Dannel Malloy also noted that “we have a lot more work to do.”
“While I’m certainly pleased that our unemployment rate continues to decline, we still have a long way to go in this growing recovery,” he said.
“The fact remains that if you don’t have a job, the unemployment rate is basically 100%.”
Among the major employment sectors, trade, transportation, and utilities lost 2,300 jobs while construction–after two months of sizable gains–shed 1,300 jobs. Manufacturing lost 600 jobs.
Professional and business services added 600 jobs and financial activities increased by 400 jobs. The public sector added 400 jobs. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Labor Market Area added 3,100 positions while the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford LMA lost 1,200 jobs. Norwich-New London shed 1,100 positions.
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