Connecticut sheds more jobs in April
Connecticut dropped 1,400 jobs in April, its second straight month of decline, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor. At the same time, an original calculation of 2,000 job losses for March was revised downward, to a decrease of 3,500, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The setbacks highlight the prolonged and erratic economic recovery of a state that still has not regained all the jobs it lost a decade ago in its last recession.
“The numbers are disappointing; we’ve had several industries take some pretty hard knocks,” said Pete Gioia, economist for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. “We’ve lost ground in the recovery, and we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Despite the losses, the unemployment rate remained at 4.5 percent, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 600. The national unemployment level stands at 3.9 percent.
Among the state’s six regional labor markets, New Haven led with a gain of 2,300 jobs. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk lost 900 positions, while Danbury dropped 100.
During the past year, Connecticut has added 8,700 nonagricultural positions. Private sector employment is up 11,000 from a year ago, but the public sector has shrunk by 2,300.
In April, private sector employment fell by 1,200, while government decreased by 200.
Employment decreased in seven of the 10 major industries tracked by the Labor Department. Trade, transportation and utilities lost 1,400 jobs. Financial activities saw its ranks decrease by 900, while construction and mining dropped 300. Professional & business services and information each lost 100.
Among the industries on the upswing, leisure and hospitality added 800 positions, education and health services increased by 500 and manufacturing picked up 300. Manufacturing has seen its employment rise 2.8 percent in the past year.
“If this pattern holds, the (manufacturing) sector will have overcome a decades-long trend of declining employment,” Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research, said in a statement.
Connecticut has regained about 78 percent of the approximately 119,000 jobs it lost in its 2008-2010 recession. The private sector has recovered approximately 99 percent of its lost positions.
The pace of recovery significantly lags the revivals in several neighboring states. By early 2013, Massachusetts had rebounded to its prerecession employment levels.
In a report Thursday, Farmington Bank economic adviser Don Klepper-Smith again warned of the state’s long-term vulnerability.
“We see that the state’s economy is not likely to see full job recovery until sometime in mid-2020,” he wrote in the report. “Odds are we’re likely to see a full-blown U.S. recession before that time if history is any indication.”
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