Construction Leads April Job Growth
April saw the end of winter and judging by the state’s latest jobs numbers, a flurry of construction activity. The sector added 2,000 jobs for the month out of a total of 6,300 new positions across Connecticut.
The Department of Labor reported that April was the best month for job growth since 9,300 positions were added in April, 2011.
Nonetheless, the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8%, five-tenths of a point worse than the national rate. That gap has widened every month this year.
CBIA economist Pete Gioia said that while the jump in new jobs was positive news, Connecticut’s economic recovery remained at risk.
Shrinking labor force
“The private-sector work week is shorter than it was at this time last year,” Gioia said, “and the labor force has shrunk 36,000 workers in the same period of time.
“And we’ve only gained back 47% of the jobs that we lost during the recession, so it shows we still have a long way to go.”
Labor Deparment research director Andy Condon noted that Connecticut now had added 10,800 jobs over the last 12 months.
“Though our monthly data can be volatile, Connecticut’s job tempo picked up considerably last month,” he said.
“The state appears to be experiencing a solid and more typical spring seasonal job buildup.”
Including construction, seven of the 10 major employment sectors added jobs last month.
The trade, transportation, and utilities bounced back from March losses with 1,500 jobs, followed by education and jhealth services (1,400), leisure and hospitality (900), government (500), financial activities (400), and professional and business services (200).
Manufacturing was unchanged for April. Other services lost 500 positions and information was slightly lower for the month with 100 less jobs.
Two of the six labor market areas posted gains for the month.
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk added 4,200 jobs and Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford gained 2,000 new positions.
Waterbury and Danbury shed 300 positions each, while Norwich-New London lost 200 jobs and New Haven 100.
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