State Needs New Direction to Escape ‘Jobs Funk’
Are there storm clouds on the horizon for Connecticut’s economy?
CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia says the state’s mounting job losses—employers shed another 1,400 positions in June—represent a “troubling pattern.”
With the state Department of Labor also revising down May’s initially reported decline of 1,500 jobs to a loss of 1,900, Connecticut has now lost 4,600 jobs since January.
“The June numbers are a continuation of a troubling pattern—at a time when most other states are adding jobs,” Gioia said today.
“The U.S. has added jobs at a 0.7% rate over the same period, while neighboring states are all seeing positive numbers this year.”
At 1.1%, New Hampshire leads the six New England states in 2019 job growth, followed by Maine (1%), Massachusetts (0.9%), Rhode Island (0.9%), and Vermont (0.7%).
‘Lack of Urgency’
Connecticut has recovered just 79% of all jobs lost during the 2008-2010 recession, the only New England state and one of just a handful in the country yet to reach the expansion point.
With a number of economists warning of a potential national recession in 2020, Gioia said Connecticut’s ongoing job losses “will have a significant impact on economic performance and growth.”
“Even more troubling is the lack of urgency from policymakers,” he said.
“This is a serious problem. We’re in a jobs funk and we need a new policy direction to reverse what is a troubling trend.”
Gioia noted that the one-tenth of a point drop in the state’s unemployment rate to 3.7% was linked to a monthly decline of 3,400 in the labor force.
“That’s another troubling trend,” Gioia said. “It means people are giving up looking for work or are leaving the state.”
Sectors, Labor Markets
Four of the state’s 10 major industry sectors added jobs in June, led by education and health services, which gained 1,600 positions.
Financial activities grew by 600 jobs, followed by professional and business services (400), and leisure and hospitality (100).
Manufacturing, which is down 100 jobs through the first half of the year, was unchanged for June.
The government sector—which includes municipal, federal, and casino employment—shed 2,200 jobs last month.
Construction and mining fell by 1,100 jobs, followed by other services (-400), trade, transportation, and utilities (-300), and information (-100).
Two of the state’s six main labor market areas posted gains last month, led by New Haven, which added 300 jobs.
Norwich-New London-Westerly added 200 jobs while Danbury was unchanged from May.
The Hartford area shed 1,300 jobs, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk lost 1,100, and Waterbury declined by 500.
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