Jobs Recovery Continues in August
Connecticut posted its fourth straight month of job gains in August, continuing to inch closer toward recovering all jobs lost during the recession.
The state Department of Labor reported today that employers added 3,200 positions last month, for an increase of 33,200 jobs over the previous 12 months.
The agency also revised down its July numbers, saying 3,800 new jobs were added against the initial report of 4,100.
“We’re not there yet,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia, noting that the state has now recovered 88% of jobs lost in the 2008-2010 economic downturn.
And five-plus years after the end of the recession, Connecticut is one of just 12 states [see figure above] yet to experience full job recovery.
Rhode Island is the only other New England state that hasn’t hit that mark, while the national recovery rate is 144% of lost jobs. The U.S. reached the 100% milestone about two years ago.
Full recovery in 2016?
Speaking at last week’s The Connecticut Economy conference, DataCore Partners economist Don Klepper Smith forecast that Connecticut would regain all pre-recession jobs “sometime in 2016.”
Klepper-Smith added that the slow pace of job growth has an overall long-term negative impact on Connecticut’s economic recovery, particularly as the state continues to lag the rest of the country.
That recovery also continues to be hampered by an unfriendly business environment, he later told the Hartford Business Journal, noting the $1.2 billion in tax hikes, most targeted at businesses, that were included in the state budget passed by the legislature in June.
“We are really behind the eight-ball here in Connecticut,” he said. “It is sort of like watching an accident unfold in slow motion.”
The state’s unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a point in August to 5.3%, the second-highest in New England, and slightly higher than the national rate of 5.1%.
Education and health services added 2,500 positions for the month, leading the five sectors with gains.
Government gained 1,300 jobs, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities (1,000), manufacturing (500), and other services (200). The information sector was unchanged.
Four of the state’s industry sectors posted losses, led by leisure and hospitality, which shed 1,000 positions.
Financial activities posted its first loss in five months, losing 700 jobs. Gioia noted that sector tends to feature higher wage jobs.
Construction and mining lost 500 jobs while professional and business services lost 100.
Across the state, New Haven added 1,600 jobs while Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk posted a modest 100-job gain.
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford lost 3,500 positions and Norwich-New London-Westerly dropped 300 jobs.
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