October Job Numbers Support Poll's Findings as State, U.S. Gap Widens
Connecticut's economic recovery remains slow, significantly trailing expectations for the national economy according to a new survey released today.
While 25% of the state's business executives believe the U.S. economy is improving, just 13% feel the same way about the state's economic prospects according to the Connecticut Business & Industry Association's Quarterly Economic Survey: Third Quarter 2012.
In the second quarter, just 12% of survey respondents were bullish on the national economy while 9% forecast an improving state economy.
"The good news is that executives are slightly less negative on the outlook for both the U.S. and Connecticut economies," said CBIA economist Peter Gioia. "But there's a widening gap in expectations for the state compared with the national picture."
Gioia said the survey results were supported by the state's latest employment figures, which the Connecticut Department of Labor released today.
While Connecticut employers added 1,200 positions in October, the unemployment rate rose to 9%, well above the national rate of 7.9%. The department also revised September's numbers from a gain of 2,000 jobs to a loss of 400.
"The state has now lost 2,800 jobs since October 2011," Gioia said. "The year-over-year numbers are pointing to a real weakness in our economic recoverywe're in a race to create jobs and we can't get out of first gear."
The quarterly economic survey found that 44% thought the state's economy would worsen (compared with 58% in the first quarter), while 42% believed it would remain stable (up from 33%).
Those responses contrast sharply with national expectations: 36% of respondents said the U.S. economy would worsen (down from 54% in the second quarter) and 39% forecast stability (33%).
"These numbers, particularly for the state's economic picture, show little improvement over the second quarter," Gioia said. "It confirms a fairly flat, slow economic recovery."
Other third quarter survey results were remarkably similar to the weak second quarter numbers. Some important responses include:
- 25% of respondents expect increases in production and sales for the next quarter, while 21% see decreases.
- 16% see their workforce expanding in the fourth quarter, but the same percentage expect to shrink.
- Respondents also were split evenly on the outlook for their own firms, with 23% expecting improvement and 23% seeing a decline.
- Within their own industrial sector, 32% forecast declines, while 20% expect improving economic conditions.
CBIA's Quarterly Economic Survey: Third Quarter 2012 was emailed to approximately 1,900 Connecticut businesses in October of 2012. A total of 179 responded, for a 9.4% response rate and a margin of error of +/- 7.47%.