As state policymakers strive to come up with a new state budget that balances without stalling Connecticut’s economic recovery, an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics hints at one of the reasons for our fiscal struggles.
According to Stateline.org, Massachusetts employment has grown 8.64% since October 2009, the lowest part of the Great Recession; and New York jobs have grown 8.29% since the same point.
Connecticut’s employment growth rate, however, is 5.82%.
Overall, the U.S. has recovered 132% of jobs lost since the recession that ended five years ago, and Massachusetts has soared to a recovery of 150%.
Connecticut’s jobs recovery rate is 78%.
And while Massachusetts’ unemployment rate is 4.8% and the U.S. rate is 5.5%, Connecticut’s unemployment rate is 6.4%, the highest in New England.
When figuring for discouraged workers and part-timers who want full-time work but can’t find it, Connecticut’s real jobless rate is 12.6%.
A healthier economy that encourages job growth will also naturally provide the state tax revenue needed for critical services.
Many of the tax proposals on the negotiating table, however, would discourage rather than encourage job creation.
Spending proposals that grow the cost of state government also work against jobs.
Making state government leaner, more effective, and more affordable will curb the need for economy-crippling tax increases.