COVID-19 Jobs Recovery Continues; Warning Signs for Manufacturing
Connecticut’s COVID-19 jobs recovery extended into a fourth consecutive month in August, as employers added 20,400 jobs to payrolls.
The state Department of Labor also revised July’s initially reported gains up 5,800 to 32,300 new jobs.
Employers have now recovered 158,400—54%—of the 291,300 jobs lost in March and April because of COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions.
The state’s reported unemployment rate is 8.1%, although the labor department continues to warn that number underestimates the true jobless rate, which it says is in the 14%-15% range.
The national unemployment rate was 8.4%. Through August, U.S. employers have recovered 48% of 22.2 million lost jobs.
Rhode Island leads the New England states in job recovery at 57%, followed by Connecticut, Vermont (53%), New Hampshire (50%), Maine (47%), and Massachusetts (39%).
While he called the overall report “solid,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said he was concerned about the state’s manufacturing sector, which lost 1,500 jobs in August—1% of the workforce.
“We’re seeing two factors at play there,” DiPentima said.
“First, the continued slump in commercial aerospace demand is now having an impact on many of the state’s aerospace manufacturers.
“In addition, we’re also seeing the impact as the disaster relief loans many received from the federal Paycheck Protection Program run out. That was a critical lifeline for manufacturers.”
DiPentima expects other industry sectors also will be affected as PPP funds dry up and he called for the U.S. Congress to end its deadlock over a new round of stimulus funding.
“We are very concerned that Congress has failed to act on a new round of emergency relief funding,” he said.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty ahead. The state’s jobs recovery is a fragile one, with serious implications for our economy if we don’t protect employers during this crucial time.”
Sectors, Labor Markets
Leisure and hospitality, which lost 87,900 jobs (-56%) in March and April, led all sectors in percentage terms again in August, adding 4,200 positions (3.6%).
Education and health services added 8,600 jobs (2.7%) last month and is one of five sectors to have recovered more than half the jobs it lost in March and April.
The government sector, which includes employment at the state’s two casinos, added 3,700 jobs (1.7%).
Trade, transportation, and utilities added 2,500 jobs (0.9%) last month, followed by financial activities (1,100; 0.9%); professional services (1,400; 0.7%); and other services (200; 0.4%).
The information sector was unchanged for the month. Manufacturing was the only sector to lose jobs.
All six of the state’s major labor markets added jobs last month, led by Hartford-West-Hartford-East Hartford with a gain of 9,500 (1.8%).
Employment in New Haven increased by 6,200 jobs (2.3%), followed by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk (5,100; 1.4%), Waterbury (2,200; 3.7%), Danbury (1.600; 2.2%), and Norwich-New London-Westerly (1,200; 1.1%).
EXPLORE BY CATEGORY
Stay Connected with CBIA News Digests
The latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox.