HARTFORD: The Connecticut Labor Department reported another loss in jobs by the state even as the US economy added more than 168,000 jobs in April. The loss of 1,400 jobs follows a loss of 3500 jobs in March, which was revised from an initial estimate of 2000 lost jobs. The job numbers didn’t move the needle on the unemployment rate which remained at 4.5%, the US unemployment rate was 3.9% in April.
Connecticut is only one of seven US states that have not recovered the jobs lost in the recession. Alabama is short 62,637 jobs, or 3%, West Virginia 33,428 [4%], Mississippi 26,666 [2%], New Mexico 23,422 [2%], Connecticut 19,781 [1%], Wyoming 13,257 [4%] and Illinois 11,682 [0.2%].
Neighboring states are also showing some mixed but still better results, New York State added 6700 jobs but the unemployment rate remained at 4.6%.
Rhode Island saw an increase of 900 jobs bringing the state to its highest level of employnent at 499,300 an increase of 7,200 from last April. The state’s unemployment rate is 4.5%, a tick up from 4.4% last year.
Massachusetts showed its continuing ability to create new jobs with 3,900 added for April, the unemployment rate however increased from 3.6 to 3.9% as more people were pulled into the workforce, unlike the dynamics in Connecticut.
According to CBIA economist Pete Gioia. “we now have two months of bad news, after four months of growth.” Gioia and CBIA cited positive news on the better paying jobs in manufacturing and construction industries with annual increases of 4,500 and 1,200 jobs respectively for the past year. However, Gioia cites bad news on the size of Connecticut’s labor force, which has dropped by 24,000 in the past year and a decline in of 700 jobs in the very important [for the Nutmeg state] financial services and insurance sector.
Citing the regional comparisons Gioia said, “our unemployment rate is now tied with Rhode Island for the region’s highest, but the difference is that Rhode Island is adding jobs,” adding, “we know there are job vacancies, so a decline in the labor force is alarming.”
Economist Don Klepper-Smith told the Hartford Courant, “there’s no positive way of saying you’ve lost almost 5,000 more jobs over the last two months,”.