Connecticut's job growth will continue to struggle unless the legislature changes direction on key policy issues, the state's largest business organization said today.

The state lost 3,400 jobs in the first quarter of 2019, while most neighboring states and the rest of the country saw moderate to strong growth in the first three months of the year.

CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia said those job losses distracted from the positive factors in the state's economy, including growing private sector collaboration and innovation.

He said the state legislature's continued focus on costly workplace mandates and a reluctance to cut government spending were "continued barriers to investment, job creation, and economic growth."

"We have another disappointing month with the loss of 1,300 jobs in March," Gioia said today.

"People are reacting to these bills that will add significant costs and burdens to employers, particularly small employers across the state.

"How many more jobs do we have to lose before the legislature changes its direction?"

CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia

"How many more jobs do we have to lose before the legislature changes its direction?"

Gioia called the state’s private sector numbers "particularly troubling."

Private sector employers shed 1,100 positions in March, bringing the sector's first quarter losses to 3,300.

The sector also fell below the post-recession expansion point for the first time since last year.

Overall, Connecticut has recovered just 80% of the 119,100 jobs lost in the 2008-2010 recession, the only New England state and one of just a handful of states in the country yet to reach full recovery.

CBIA is Connecticut's largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Joe Budd (860.244.1900).