Job Openings Increase, Growth Cools
Connecticut employers added 500 jobs in October, marking 10 straight months of growth, as the state’s job market showed signs of cooling.
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s monthly report also revised September’s initially reported 4,400 jobs gain down to 4,300.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released this week showed Connecticut currently has 114,000 open job positions, a 2.7% increase over the previous month.
CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said the latest jobs report may “signal a cooling in the job market—a pattern we’ve seen over the past two years.”
“While there is much to be positive about, it’s clear employers are apprehensive about the possibility of an economic slowdown in the coming months,” he said.
Connecticut has recovered 89% of the historic 289,400 jobs lost to pandemic disruptions in March and April of 2020, while the U.S. recovery rate is at 104%.
Maine leads the New England states with a 102% recovery rate, followed by New Hampshire (97%), Massachusetts (94%), Connecticut, Rhode Island (89%), and Vermont (79%).
Massachusetts leads the region in year-to-date job growth at 3.1%, four-tenths of a point above the national average of 2.7%.
Maine’s year-to-date job growth rate is 2.3%, followed by New Hampshire (2.1%), Connecticut (2%), Rhode Island (1.7%), and Vermont (1.3%).
Connecticut’s unemployment rate increased three-tenths of a point in October to 4.3%, the highest of the New England states and eighth-highest in the country. The national unemployment rate is 3.7%.
The state’s voluntary quits rate is the sixth lowest in the country while the layoffs and discharge rate is the lowest of all states.
DiPentima noted that while Connecticut has 114,000 open positions, 47,000 people have left the labor force—the number of employed plus those actively looking for work—since February 2020.
“The worker shortage crisis remains the biggest obstacle to our economy reaching its full potential,” he said.
“Even if every unemployed person was hired tomorrow, we would still have 32,600 unfilled positions.
“We must embrace all potential solutions for solving this crisis—an issue that we expect will be a key focus of the General Assembly when it convenes in January.”
“These recommendations are a series of common sense solutions around workforce training, housing, student loans, healthcare, and immigration,” he said.
“We look forward to working with the legislature and the administration to improve and implement more pathways to rewarding careers and to open doors to opportunity for all communities and residents.”
Industry Sectors, Labor Markets
Five of Connecticut’s major industry sectors saw growth in October, led by leisure and hospitality with 1,500 new positions (1%).
The educational and health services sector gained 1,400 jobs (0.4%), followed by manufacturing (800; 0.5%), information (100; 0.3%), and construction and mining (100; 0.2%), with other services remaining unchanged.
The professional and business services sector lost 1,100 jobs (-0.5), followed by trade, transportation, and utilities (-900; -0.3%), financial activities (-800; -0.7%), and the government (-600; -0.3%).
Five of the state’s major labor markets posted gains, led by the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford region with 2,100 new positions (0.4%).
The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk region added 1,700 jobs (0.4%), followed by New Haven (1,600; 0.5%), Waterbury (600; 0.9%), and Danbury (200; 0.3%).
The Norwich-New London-Westerly region declined by 200 positions (-0.2%).
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