Connecticut's weak 2019 job growth must shape legislative priorities for next month's General Assembly session, the state's largest business organization said today.
The state added 3,600 total net jobs (0.2%) last year while private sector employment increased by 5,500 positions or 0.4%.
"That's a fairly weak number, especially when you compare it to the region and the country," CBIA economic adviser Pete Gioia said today.
Private sector job growth averaged 1.1% in the six New England states and 1.5% in the U.S. last year.
Rhode Island led the region in 2019, adding 8,400 private sector jobs (1.9%).
"That’s nearly five times what happened in Connecticut," he said.
"Policymakers have got to focus on expanding the economy and driving job growth."
Gioia noted that the state's GDP expanded in each of the first three quarters of 2019, "which means we have an opportunity to drive greater job growth."
He said addressing the state's long-term fiscal stability and improving its business climate will attract private sector investment.
Gioia also called for expanding workforce development efforts, particularly in key sectors such as manufacturing and financial activities.
"If you take a look at the annual numbers, we added 700 manufacturing jobs, which is positive, but given the needs of that industry, we should be adding 7,000 jobs," he said.
"In financial activities, another high-paying sector, we added 600 jobs. Which again, is better than a loss, but that should have been 6,000 new jobs.
"It's time for us to get our economy in gear and policymakers have to do things that help us get there."
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 (860.244.1951).