Connecticut's December employment report delivered a much-needed dose of positive news, an economist with the state's largest business organization said today.

While the Department of Labor's 2017 numbers are subject to revision in March, CBIA economist Pete Gioia noted the preliminary report shows the state added 7,700 jobs for the year.

"This is the first good news we've gotten in a long while," Gioia said today.

"If those numbers hold up when the final report comes out in March, it will be a stark change to where we ended up in 2016, losing 200 jobs."

Gioia said the state's resurgent manufacturing sector added 4,100 jobs in 2017, just the third time in three decades the sector posted annual gains.

"Manufacturing, which has struggled to gain jobs in at least 30 years, ended up adding 4,100 jobs year-over-year," he said.

"We also had financial services gain 2,200 jobs year-over-year, although the sector did lose some jobs for the month.

Year-over-year, Connecticut job growth is up 0.5%, compared to 1.2% in New England and 1.4% in the U.S.
"Out of the 7,700 jobs added for the year, we've got 6,300 within the two key core sectors for Connecticut's economy."

Gioia called for state lawmakers to build off the momentum reflected in the December employment report, as Connecticut's job growth still trails the region and much of the country.

"While this is a good report, it's got to be noted that we've only gained back 76% of the jobs we lost in the recession—one of the few states that hasn't gone over 100%," he said.

"Year-over-year, Connecticut job growth is up 0.5%, compared to 1.2% in New England and 1.4% in the U.S.

"And at 4.6%, the unemployment rate is still the highest in New England.

"It's a good report, but we need to sustain it and we have a long way to go."

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).

Filed Under: Connecticut Economy, Employment Law

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