Jobs Report: Happy New Year?
Were the January jobs numbers worth the wait? Connecticut employers added 7,100 jobs in the first month of the calendar year, almost as many as in all of 2011.
The state’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 points to eight percent, its lowest point since April 2009. The national unemployment rate is 8.3 percent.
Nonethless, the Connecticut Department of Labor did revise its December numbers. Instead of adding a modest 600 jobs, the state lost 1,000 jobs to close out the year.
With that adjustment, Connecticut finished 2011 with 7,800 new jobs. As of January 2012, the state’s year-over-year job growth climbed to 11,900.
The jobs report received tepid reviews from economists and politicans alike.
“The revisions to December and the annual figures were disappointing,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia. “Economists were expecting more than that. And while it’s good news the unemployment rate dropped, most of that is due to people leaving the workforce.”
Governor Dannel Malloy also sounded a cautious note.
“Let’s be clear, we still have much work to do,” he said in a statement. “Our successes last year have provided a road map and we must remain vigilant to make sure we arrive at our ultimate destination – an economic revival that benefits all of our residents.”
Andy Condon, the labor agency’s director of research, said the mild winter was a major factor behind the growth in jobs, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
“Unemployment continues to decline, though unlike in recent months, our labor force also shrank slightly,” he said. “Although we still have fewer people in Connecticut’s labor force than we did a year ago, we appear to be on a trend to close that gap.”
The construction industry added 3,100 jobs in January, while trade, transportation, and utilities companies filled 2,100 positions. Manufacturers hired 1,400 people.
Professional and business services firms shed 1,800 jobs in January. State government lost 400 jobs.
Connecticut has recovered 35,900 (or 30.6%) of the 117,500 jobs lost in the March 2008 to
February 2010 recession.
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