Recovery Concerns Persist Amid Moderate Job Growth
Economic recovery concerns persist in Connecticut, with the state still trailing the national economy after posting 25,100 new jobs in 2014.
That represents a modest growth rate of just 1.5%. Nationally, employment grew at 2.3% in 2014.
In releasing employment figures today for last year, the state Department of Labor also reported 1,600 fewer jobs gained than it initially estimated.
“This report confirms moderate job growth but it still highlights concerns that Connecticut has a long way to go to catch up to our neighbors and U.S. job performance overall,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia.
Connecticut has only recovered 76% of the 119,000 jobs lost during the March 2008-February 2010 economic downturn, behind both the U.S. (130%) and neighboring Massachusetts (150%).
Gioia noted that while Connecticut’s economy is poised for growth, legislative proposals weakening tax credits for research and development and fixed capital investments posed “a significant threat to our economic recovery.”
Between 2000 and 2012, Connecticut businesses transformed $109 million worth of R&D tax credits into $3.14 billion worth of investments in the state’s economy.
And, from 2001 to 2012, companies used $724 million in fixed capital tax credits to produce over $14 billion worth of investments.
Both of those programs are among a number of key economic drivers that are under threat in the legislature as lawmakers debate the state’s next two-year budget.
The state labor agency today also released preliminary estimates for January, saying the state gained 6,400 jobs for the month while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3%, where it has been since September last year.
The national unemployment rate is 5.5%.
Six of the state’s 10 major industry sectors posted gains in January, led by education and health services, which added 2,800 new positions.
That sector has now added 9,200 jobs over the last 12 months, the strongest showing of all sectors.
Leisure and hospitality and professional business services both gained 2,100 new jobs in January, followed by financial activities (1,500); construction and mining (1,300); and government (900).
Trade, transportation, and utilities shed 3,000 jobs in January, with retail trade accounting for all losses following the holiday season.
Manufacturing dropped 900 jobs, followed by information (-300) and other services (-100).
Over the last 12 months, manufacturers shed 2,100 positions, or 1.3%.
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