Nine-Month Job Growth Streak Ends in January

03.11.2022
Economy

Connecticut lost 1,700 private sector jobs in January—with an overall net loss of 700—ending nine consecutive months of gains.

The January 2022 employment report released March 11 also cut December’s initially reported gains of 1,600 jobs to 500.

Connecticut has now recovered 78% of the 289,400 jobs lost in March and April of 2020 to pandemic shutdowns and restrictions.

Maine leads leads the region in jobs recovery at 91%, followed by New Hampshire (84%), Massachusetts (82%), Rhode Island (80%), Connecticut, and Vermont (73%). The national recovery rate is 91%.

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said the latest jobs report highlighted “the fragility of our pandemic recovery and the multiple challenges we face.”

“This is a disappointing start to the year, particularly given the number of private sector job losses, and further emphasizes how critical it is for policymakers to prioritize job growth.”

By the Numbers: Connecticut’s Labor Market

State2021 Job GrowthJob Openings (Jan. 2022)Monthly Change (%)Labor Force Change (since Feb. 2020)Unemployment Rate
Connecticut3.5%117,00011.4%-4.3%5.3%
Maine3%61,00029.8%-2.9%4.1%
Massachusetts5.5%277,0001.1%-0.5%4.8%
New Hampshire4.7%65,0004.8%-3.8%2.9%
Rhode Island5.2%40,0008.1%-0.5%4.2%
Vermont4.7%26,000-7.3%3%
United States4.7%11.3 million-1.6%-0.4%3.8%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment, Labor Force

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s 2021 benchmark revisions, Connecticut gained 55,400 jobs (3.5%) last year, the second slowest growth rate in the region. The U.S. rate was 4.7%.

Massachusetts led the New England states at 5.5%, followed by Rhode Island (5.2%), New Hampshire (4.7%), Vermont (4.7%), Connecticut, and Maine (3%).

Connecticut’s unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point in January to 5.3%, the highest of the New England states and a point-and-a-half above the national rate.

The labor force—the number of employed plus those actively looking for work—ended a two-month slide, growing by 13,700 residents in January.

However, the state’s labor force has declined 4.3% since February 2020, with Connecticut representing 46% of the region’s losses and 14% of the national decline in that period.

Our labor shortage is a full-blown crisis—we have 110,000 job openings, yet our labor force losses are way out of proportion with the region and the country,” DiPentima said.

“The time for lawmakers to focus is now. I cannot emphasize enough the size and scope of this issue and the potentially disastrous consequences if we fail to act.”

Industry Sectors

Employment grew in only three of the state’s 10 main industry sectors in January, led by the government sector, which added 1,000 jobs (0.4%).

Manufacturing led all private sector industries, adding 700 jobs (0.4%), while construction gained 400 positions (0.5%).

Information sector employment was unchanged in January.

Connecticut COVID-19 Jobs Recovery, Jan. 2022

Professional and business services led all losing sectors, shedding 1,200 jobs (-0.6%) in January.

Other services lost 600 jobs (-1%), followed by trade, transportation, and utilities (-500; -0.2%), leisure and hospitality (-200; -0.1%), education and health services (-200; -0.1%), and financial activities (-100; -0.1%).

“We were certainly glad to see the critical manufacturing sector post job growth,” DiPentima said. “Although, financial activities, another key economic sector, continued to post losses and is now down 2,400 jobs or 2% in the last 12 months.”

Labor Market Areas

Five of Connecticut’s six major labor market areas saw gains in January, led by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk with 3,500 new jobs (0.9%).

New Haven added 900 jobs (0.3%), followed by Waterbury (400; 0.6%), Norwich-New London-Westerly (300; 0.3%), and Danbury (100; 0.1%).

Employment in Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford declined by 2,200 jobs (-0.4%).

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk region has seen the strongest growth in the last 12 months with an increase of 17,000 jobs (4.5%).

New Haven gained 11,300 jobs during that period (4%), followed by Greater Hartford (7,300; 1.3%), Norwich-New London-Westerly (2,400; 2.1%), Danbury (2,300; 3.2%), and Waterbury (2,100; 3.3%).

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