Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back
Connecticut’s strong start to 2012 is quickly becoming a distant memory. The state now has two straight months of job losses, shedding 4,100 positions in April.
The Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report greatly clouds forecasts for the state’s economic recovery. While the unemployment rate held steady at 7.7 percent, Connecticut dropped 6,100 jobs in March and April.
“The April jobs numbers for Connecticut show that the economy is still struggling to reach a sustainable recovery,” says CBIA economist Pete Gioia.
“That’s quiet a negative trend after what was a very strong and positive start. Now we’re at net 5,300 new jobs for the year–that’s a very slow rate of growth and unfortunately the last two months have not been good news.”
A state labor official admitted disappointment with the April report, particularly when looking at the year-over-year (April 2011-April 2012) numbers. Connecticut dropped 2,300 jobs over the last 12 months, even as the unemployment rate fell 1.4 percent.
“The decline in both monthly and annual job growth numbers in April is disappointing, but unusual seasonal patterns this past winter into spring make these numbers difficult to interpret,” said Andy Condon, the agency’s research director.
“Despite variability in growth from month to month we still appear to be on a path of positive, albeit modest job growth.”
Among the major employment sectors, construction lost 2,300 jobs, followed by the government sector (down 1,300 positions), and leisure and hospitality with a loss of 1,200 jobs. Manufacturing shed 400 positions–the sector has lost 1,400 jobs over the last 12 months.
Four of the major sectors saw job growth in April. Professional and business services gained 900 positions; trade, transportatrion, and utilities added 500 jobs; financial activities increased by 300 positions; and the information sector added 100 jobs.
Connecticut has recovered 34,100, or 29 percent, of the 117,500 total jobs lost in the March 2008-February 2010 recession.
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