Connecticut job numbers edge slowly upward
HARTFORD >> While it’s difficult to say whether the monthly trend will hold, Connecticut gained 1,300 jobs in March, and February’s job losses were revised to a job gain.
February’s originally released job loss of 1,600 was revised upward to a 100 job gain, according to numbers compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and the Connecticut Labor Department.
“With March’s 1,300 job increase, we have seen job growth in each month of the first quarter putting us ahead of last year’s pace,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research said.
The unemployment rate moved up to 4.8 percent, but the labor force grew, which Condon said indicates “workers are seeing opportunity in a low unemployment rate environment.”
Don Klepper-Smith, an economist with DataCore Partners, said the Connecticut economy continues to “tread water.”
He said the Connecticut economy is now “underperforming on many fronts, namely job growth and income creation, where the broadest measure of consumer spending power — real disposable income — grew only 0.5 percent last year.”
Connecticut has added 91,200 jobs on a cumulative basis as of March 2017, equating to an average monthly gain of about 1,073 jobs per month. This means, according to Klepper-Smith, that Connecticut is about 27,900 jobs from attaining full job recovery.
He said that means the Connecticut economy won’t fully recover until 2019.
The good news from the March numbers, according to Peter Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, is where the job growth is happening.
“Three key industries saw job gains last month — manufacturing, financial activities, and information — and those are all high-paying jobs, and that’s very important,” Gioia said.
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