State Gains 26,700 Jobs in 2014
Connecticut closed out 2014 on a high note, adding 4,800 jobs in December for a 12-month gain of 26,700 positions.
In releasing its monthly jobs report today, the Connecticut Department of Labor did revise its November numbers down from the originally reported 4,600 new jobs to 2,900.
The state’s unemployment rate also fell one-tenth of a percent to 6.4%, a full point lower than December 2013. The national unemployment rate is 5.6%.
“This is good news and it’s bolstered by the news that manufacturing added 1,200 jobs in the month,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia.
Gioia did note that while the state now has recovered about 81% of the 119,100 jobs lost in the recession, our economy still trails the national recovery.
“While Connecticut appears to be doing well right now, there is concern for keeping this momentum through 2016,” said Gioia.
“We have a state budget crisis and other matters before the state legislature that could help or hinder job recovery.
“While we’ve recovered 81% of the jobs we lost in the recession, we’re still lagging the U.S. recovery [120%] and neighboring Massachusetts [150%].“
Policy choices critical
In order to continue to see this kind of economic growth, Gioia says, the state has to do the right thing, particularly in public policy.
“We can’t throw any wrenches into the recovery,” he said.
DOL research director Andy Condon noted that employment gains were widespread across most industries and regions, although wages were slower to recover.
“We look forward to the annual benchmark revision in March to see if this level of growth holds up when more complete data becomes available,” he said.
Sector winners, losers
Six of the state’s 10 industry sectors posted gains in December, led by leisure and hospitality with 2,100 new positions.
Durable goods manufacturers contributed 1,300 positions to the manufacturing sector’s 1,200 net gain in December. The sector gained a net 1,900 jobs for the year.
Education and health services also gained 1,200 jobs in December; government added 900; and information and other services each posted 400 new jobs.
Construction and mining led the four losing sectors, shedding 600 jobs, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities (-500); professional, scientific, and technical (-200); and financial activities (-100).
Four of the state’s six labor market areas posted gains in December, with Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and Norwich-New London unchanged for the month.
Hartford added 2,200 jobs for the month, followed by New Haven (800); Danbury (500); and Waterbury (300).
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