Connecticut's 2019 job losses highlight the growing challenges impeding economic competitiveness and growth, the state's largest business organization said today.
The state lost 1,500 net jobs in May—1,600 in the private sector—bringing year-to-date losses to 2,800 positions, or -0.2%.
CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia said Connecticut is the only New England state with losses over the first five months, while U.S. job growth is 0.5% since January.
He said Connecticut's jobs outlook is complicated by the just completed 2019 legislative session, which included a number of new laws hurting businesses' ability to compete and grow.
Gioia said many of those laws, including paid family and medical leave and a near 50% increase in the minimum wage, "hit small businesses particularly hard."
"We really have a disturbing situation," Gioia said today. "We've only recovered 80% of lost jobs in the 111 months since the recession ended.
"How do we get out of this when we have negative legislation for small businesses, particularly several workplace mandates, that could cost us jobs?"
Gioia called the session a challenging one for Connecticut small businesses—essential for job creation—calling it "one the state can't afford to repeat."
"The most troubling thing is not just the lack of acknowledgement, but the apparent lack of interest in the job numbers from too many state legislators," he said.
Connecticut is the only New England state and one of just a handful across the country yet to recover all jobs lost in the 2008-2010 recession.
While the private sector has recovered all lost jobs, that growth continues to lag the region and the country.
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 Joe Budd (860.244.1900).