Connecticut's revised 2018 employment numbers reveal disappointing job growth, an economist with the state's largest business organization said today.

CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia said initial reports showed the state was on track for its best year for jobs since 2006.

"The benchmark revisions, based on actual payroll jobs, show that we ended 2018 a lot different than we thought we would," he said.

"The year-over-year numbers predicted an overall jobs gain of 19,900, but that figure was revised down nearly 50% to 10,000.

"If you look at private sector alone, that number is even more sobering. Our earlier gain of 23,100 jobs was revised down to 9,700."

Connecticut had 0.6% job growth in 2018, up from 0.1% in 2017 and 0.2% in 2016. However, the number is still behind the national average and neighboring Massachusetts (both at 1.8% for the year).

The revision also set back the state's recovery of jobs lost during the 2008-2010 recession. Connecticut has recovered just 84% of lost jobs and must gain another 19,300 to meet pre-recession levels.

The private sector has recovered 103% of jobs lost.

Gioia said the Department of Labor's preliminary report for January showed 1,000 jobs were added for the month, which he called "a promising start."

"However, we are not going to sustain any type of job growth if the legislature focuses more on new mandates and costs on businesses, rather than making them more competitive," Gioia said.

"We need to create a state where businesses are growing and investing, and it needs to be lawmakers' top priority."

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 Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).