‘Simply horrible’: Connecticut lost 5,200 jobs in September
The final Connecticut employment report before Election Day yielded some sobering news: 5,200 jobs lost in September and a downward revision of August’s numbers — from adding 300 workers to losing 300.
Andy Condon, director of the office of research for the Connecticut Department of Labor, said that with the revision for August, the state has now lost jobs for three months in a row.
“However, market signs are mixed as the state’s unemployment rate continues to fall,” Condon said unemployment fell from 5.6 percent to 5.2 percent.
A decline in the unemployment rate that occurs at the same time jobs are lost is an indication of an increase in the number of people who are no longer actively looking for work.
The unemployment rate measures the percent of unemployed job seekers in the labor force, which is the sum of employed and unemployed individuals. It is not a percentage of the entire population.
Two of Connecticut’s most prominent economists said the latest employment data shows that the state is facing serious economic difficulties.
Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist and director of research for New Haven-based DataCore Partners said September’s jobs number was “simply horrible.”
“It’s time to completely reassess our state economic development strategies because we’re lagging all other New England states in the key area of job recovery,” Klepper-Smith said. “Jobs create income, consumer spending power and tax revenue, and those linkages are key to both economic and fiscal health.”
Connecticut’s unemployment rate will continue in a range of between 5 percent and 6 percent over the next year, he said.
Pete Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, said the state has 12,800 jobs added year over year.
“We may now take over two more years to fully recover from the Great Recession, which is very problematic,” Gioia said in a statement. “This emphasizes the fact that the economy must be job number one for candidates running for General Assembly.”
Among the industries that added jobs in September were trade, transportation and utilities as well as retail. There were 1,200 jobs added in trade, transportation and utilities and 1,900 in retail, according to state officials.
However, gains in those sectors were erased by the loss of 2,500 government jobs last month compared to September 2015. There were also 1,500 jobs lost in leisure and hospitality sector.
The New Haven labor market area lost 800 jobs last month.
Call Luther Turmelle at 203-680-9388.