State’s Jobs Recovery Passes Halfway Mark
March brought 4,900 new jobs to Connecticut and coupled with February’s revised gains, erased a large portion of the 10,900 jobs the state lost in the first month of the year.
Based on today’s report from the Department of Labor, Connecticut’s economy ended the first quarter 4,600 jobs behind where we closed 2013, and 9,400 jobs ahead of this time last year.
Positive news to be sure, although job growth in the state continues to significantly lag regional and national economic recoveries.
U.S. recovers recession losses
March saw the U.S. economy reach a long-awaited milestone, finally recovering all jobs lost during the March 2008-February 2010 recession.
Connecticut now has recovered 65,000, or 54.6% of the 119,100 jobs lost during the economic downturn.
“While we do lag the U.S. recovery, it does seem to be picking up some steam,” says CBIA economist Peter Gioia.
“Seven [industry] sectors saw gains in March…including manufacturing, financial services, and trade, transportation, and utilities.”
Gioia added that the modest pace of Connecticut’s recovery underscored the critical need for legislators to focus on improving the state’s business climate to attract much-needed private investment.
The state’s unemployment rate for March remained unchanged at 7%, ending a string of seven successive months of declines. A year ago, the rate was 7.8%.
The national unemployment rate was 6.7% in March.
In Massachusetts, one of 16 states to recover all jobs lost in the recession, the unemployment rate is 6.3%. New York also has recovered from its recession losses and has 6.9% unemployment.
Connecticut’s March gains were led by the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 2,300 positions, primarily in restaurants and hotels.
Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 2,000 jobs, followed by government (800); financial activities (700); manufacturing (400); other services (200); and information (100).
Professional and business services lost 900 jobs and construction and mining shed 700 positions.
All labor market areas posted gains, except for Norwich-New London, which lost 100 jobs, and is the only LMA with aggregate losses over the past 12 months (-2,200 positions).
Hartford led all areas with 3,900 new jobs, rebounding from a loss of 5,000 positions the previous month.
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk added 1,900 jobs, followed by New Haven (1,300); Danbury (500); and Waterbury (200).
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