Legislative Shift Needed to Reverse Continued Job Losses
Connecticut lost 3,400 jobs in the first quarter of 2019, a troubling pattern at odds with the moderate to strong growth in most of the region and the country.
CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia says Connecticut’s job growth will continue to struggle unless the legislature changes direction on key policy issues.
Gioia said the first quarter losses are eroding the impact of positive factors in the state’s economy, such as growing private sector collaboration and innovation.
He said the state legislature’s focus on costly workplace mandates and a reluctance to cut government spending are “continued barriers to investment, job creation, and economic growth.”
“We have another disappointing month with the loss of 1,300 jobs in March,” Gioia said following the release today of the March employment numbers.
“People are reacting to these bills that will add significant costs and burdens to employers, particularly small employers across the state.
“How many more jobs do we have to lose before the legislature changes its direction?”
Private Sector Numbers ‘Troubling’
Gioia called the state’s private sector numbers “particularly troubling.”
Private sector employers shed 1,100 positions in March, bringing the sector’s first quarter losses to 3,300.
The sector also fell below the post-recession expansion point for the first time since last year.
Overall, Connecticut has recovered just 80% of the 119,100 jobs lost in the 2008-2010 recession, the only New England state and one of just a handful of states in the country yet to reach full recovery.
The unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a point in March to 3.9%, the highest in New England.
Industry Sectors, Labor Markets
Half the state’s 10 major industry sectors posted job losses in March, led by construction, which lost 900 positions.
Leisure and hospitality lost 700 jobs, followed by professional and business services (-600), government (-200), and information (-100).
Financial activities gained 700 jobs in March, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities (200), education and health services (200), and other services (100).
Manufacturing was unchanged for the month, although the sector was the quarter’s strongest performer, adding 1,100 jobs or 0.7%.
Three of the state’s main labor market areas lost jobs in March, led by
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, which contracted by 600 positions.
New Haven lost 300 jobs and Hartford declined by 200 positions.
Norwich-New London-Westerly added 600 jobs, followed by Danbury (200), and Waterbury (200).
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