The state’s largest business organization issued the following response to today’s release of the December 2021 employment report.
“The addition of 51,200 jobs in 2021 is welcome news, although the anemic pace of our jobs recovery remains a major concern and must be addressed as a top priority,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said today.
“We saw 3.3% growth for the year, which is the second slowest of the New England states and trails U.S. growth of 4.5%.
“Massachusetts, for instance, posted 6.6% job growth last year while Rhode Island was at 6.1%.
“We’ve now recovered 75% of the historic 292,400 jobs lost to COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions, second slowest in the region, with the U.S. at 84%.
“Our unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 5.8%, highest in the region and almost two points above the U.S. rate of 3.9%.
“There are 74,300 fewer people working in Connecticut today than in February 2020, despite an estimated 70,000 unfilled job openings, and the state’s labor force is down five percent from pre-pandemic levels.
“Eighty percent of employers report difficulty finding and retaining workers. The labor shortage represents the greatest threat to Connecticut’s economic recovery and long-term growth.
“Our 2022 policy priorities provide a comprehensive framework for addressing this crisis—it’s essential that policymakers avoid labor mandates and tax policies that have held back our economy for too long and do more than no harm.
"They must make job and economic growth a central focus of the 2022 legislative session so that we can realize Connecticut’s tremendous economic potential.”
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 contact Ali Warshavsky (860.244.1929).