What Does It Mean for Connecticut?

The surge in U.S. employment could spur the Federal Reserve to raise interests earlier than anticipated, an economist with the state's largest business organization said today.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released this morning, 321,000 jobs were added across the United States in November.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8%, but that's good news says Peter Gioia, economist for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

"We saw 119,000 people join the labor force last month and that's important because it means some previously discouraged workers have started to look for jobs again," he said today.

And it's not only the jobs numbers that are important for businesses, notes Gioia.

Gioia said most analysts expect that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates until at least September 2015.

"However, if we see two or three more jobs reports like this, businesses should be alert for an earlier federal action," says Gioia.

Last month, Connecticut reported a gain of 3,600 jobs in October. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous month at 6.4%.

Connecticut has only recovered 74% of the jobs lost during the recession, while the nation as a whole has regained all jobs lost.

In just over a month, Connecticut legislators will be back in session to tackle a budget deficit for the current fiscal year and projected shortfalls for the next budget cycle.

Gioia said that if lawmakers make decisions that support economic competitiveness and business growth, Connecticut will be able to take full advantage of the national economic recovery, and put more people back to work.

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CBIA is Connecticut's largest business organization, with 10,000 member companies. For more information, please contact Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957; meaghan.macdonald@cbia.com) or visit the CBIA Newsroom.