WETHERSFIELD — Connecticut’s nonfarm employment rebounded somewhat in September, adding 11,500 positions (0.69 percent), according to preliminary jobs data calculated from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) monthly employer survey (seasonally adjusted). In addition, the August 2014 initial reported loss of 3,600 jobs (-0.22 percent) was also revised by 2,400 jobs to a smaller decline of 1,200 (-0.07 percent). The state’s nonfarm employment level at 1,679,200 for September 2014, has reached another new recovery highpoint and has now added 26,100 jobs (1.58 percent) over the year.

The state’s unemployment rate was measured at 6.4 percent in September 2014. This is down 0.2 percent from the August 2014 figure of 6.6 percent and lower by 1.3 percentage points from the September 2013 unemployment rate of 7.7 percent. The unemployment rate has not been this low in the state since November 2008. The number of unemployed residents has declined by 23,682 (-16.5 percent) since September 2013 to 119,842, which is a new recovery low point. Connecticut’s labor force has now expanded by 21,983 (1.2 percent) citizens over the year to date.

“September employment numbers are very encouraging with strong gains in estimated payroll employment. Some of this gain was expected, especially in local public education and leisure & hospitality where seasonal shifts may have been missed in August,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research. “Both Connecticut’s nonfarm employment and unemployment rate are back to late 2008 levels. However, monthly sample-based labor statistics can be volatile in either direction and should be looked at in context of longer trends over several months.”

The September 2014 preliminary nonfarm job numbers have five of the six major Connecticut Labor Market Areas (Bureau of Labor Statistics-recognized LMAs) adding jobs, while just one LMA listed a decline. For the second month in a row, the largest labor market in the state, the Hartford LMA (2,700, 0.5 percent), was also the biggest job gaining LMA in magnitude in September 2014. The Norwich-New London LMA (1,100, 0.9 percent, best percentage-wise over the month) and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk LMA (1,100, 0.3 percent) added a similar number of jobs, while the New Haven LMA (600, 0.2 percent) and the Danbury LMA (500, 0.7 percent) also were positive last month.  The Waterbury LMA (-300, -0.5 percent) was the only LMA to lose ground in September, while the Norwich-New London LMA (-1,100, -0.9 percent) remains the only LMA to have lost jobs over the year.

The private-sector workweek, not seasonally adjusted, averaged 33.9 hours in September 2014, lower by two-tenths of an hour from the year-ago estimate of 34.1 hours. Average hourly earnings at $28.26, not seasonally adjusted, were up 33 cents, or 1.2 percent, from the September 2013 hourly private sector pay figure of $27.93. The resultant average private sector weekly pay was tallied at $958.01, up $5.60, or 0.6 percent over the year.

 Connecticut Department of Labor employees in the agency’s Hamden American Job Center, located at 37 Marne Street, will offer a variety of training and employment workshops in December to assist area residents.  Advanced registration is encouraged due to space limitations.

December 2: Military to Civilian Résumé Workshop (1-4 p.m.). Veterans are encouraged to participate in this workshop, which covers the basics of developing an effective résumé. Topics covered include: translating military skills and accomplishments into civilian terminology; understanding federal résumé formatting and common résumé mistakes to avoid. Ample time will be allowed for participants to ask questions of members of the state Department of Labor’s Office for Veterans’ Workforce Development.

December 3: Résumé Basics (9 a.m.-noon). This workshop will provide attendees with information they need to create a professional and effective résumé.

December 5: Successful Job Search Strategies (9 a.m.-noon). Attendees will learn useful job search strategies and gain pointers on telephone skills, networking, the hidden job market and interviewing.

December 9: LinkedIn (9-11 a.m.): This workshop uses a lecture/PowerPoint-based format to help participants learn the importance of utilizing LinkedIn and developing an effective profile page to aid in their job search.

December 10: Internet Job Search (9-11 a.m.): This workshop will give participants an overview of job-search strategies using the Internet, and will provide useful information on the most helpful websites to visit.

December 11: Résumé Basics (1-4 p.m.). This workshop will provide attendees with the valuable information they need to create a professional résumé.

December 12: Interviewing Techniques (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). Learn interview preparation and techniques and discover the best way to respond to questions from an interviewer, how to negotiate a “winwin” package, and learn what to say and when and how to say it.

Call 203-8593200 to register for these nocost workshops.

 HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy earlier this month announced that a pilot program connecting Waterbury-area veterans, military service members and their families with state employment and social services will be expanded to greater Bridgeport in December.

In January of this year the state’s Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Labor (DOL) launched the program, Supporting Military Members/Veterans and Their Families in Accessing Community Services, to improve outreach and access to job-related services, health coverage, food assistance and other support.
“As part of our efforts to serve military families and veterans, I asked our labor and social services commissioners to ensure that all possible steps are being taken in their areas of responsibility,” said Malloy. “We are extremely pleased with the progress made with a pilot program in Waterbury, and I have authorized its expansion to the Bridgeport area.”

The Waterbury-area pilot program successfully increased the number of veterans and military service members participating in DOL’s employment services and DSS’s medical, food and financial assistance benefits.

“In Connecticut and across the country, there are service members and veterans who are finding it difficult to support their families or themselves,” said Malloy. “We need to do everything possible to increase their opportunities in the job market and to make sure they are aware of all the services they are entitled to. It’s our job to step up for these men and women, as they have stepped up for us.”

 Connecticut announced the addition of 275 new clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the third quarter of 2014, ranking the state No. 7 in the U.S. for growth, according to a new report.

Nationwide, more than 18,000 clean energy and transportation jobs were announced in 23 states during the third quarter, with the majority coming from the manufacturing sector, according to a report by Environmental Entrepreneurs, a business advocacy group for the clean energy industry that tracks jobs announcements related to solar, wind and other energy efficient projects.

Nevada, New York, and California announced the largest number of new clean energy jobs (6,556, 3,882, and 2,070, respectively).

 HAMDEN — Executives behaving badly. Sounds like the title of a sensationalistic reality TV show. But the phrase could apply to a real-life episode in the life of one CEO who recently made headlines when he was seen abusing his dog in a publicly released video.

Companies in such a position are forced to channel their efforts into addressing it. But what exactly should they do? Andrea Obston, who teaches in Quinnipiac University’s public relations program, counsels businesses on how to react when they find themselves in crisis mode.

“About 40 percent of my public relations practice is crisis management,” says Obston, who advises clients to “monitor and respond immediately when faced with negative publicity.”

In addition to her position as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac, Obston is owner of Andrea Obston Marketing Communications in Bloomfield.

Last month Desmond Hague, then CEO of Stamford-based catering company Centerplate, made international headlines when a video showing him kicking his dog was made public. The development left Hague and his company — which services high-profile (and high-paying) clients that include National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League teams — open to global scrutiny and public backlash. The company’s board of directors responded by placing Hague on probation and fining him $100,000 (to establish an animal-cruelty prevention foundation). Hague subsequently resigned and an acting president and CEO was immediately appointed to replace him.

While to date Obston has not dealt directly with Centerplate regarding the Hague incident, she has worked with other companies in similar circumstances.

The first thing she tells them, she says, is to quickly address the issue publicly.

“Silence is not an option,” Obston says. “Damage to a reputation sometimes cannot be repaired. You need to do it [respond]. People are judging our corporation and how you handle the situation.”

Companies also should not waste time trying to debate issues of privacy, says Obston. Even though Hague’s damaging act did not occur at the workplace, the company still must respond.

“He’s a highly placed individual within the company,” Obston says.

The Hague situation is similar to that of Donald Sterling, former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team. Sterling made derogatory remarks during a private conversation and the exchange was recorded, unknown to him. It eventually was made public.

“The interesting thing is, you need to understand their [executive’s] private business becomes the company’s business,” Obston says. “The reality is that there needs to be more transparency now.”

Regrding Hague’s animal abuse, “People want to know why he wasn’t in control. If you don’t address it, they’ll wonder what else you’ve got to hide. Take control of the message early on.”

Also, be aware of reaction so you address it, says Obston.

“It [the company] needs to monitor the conversation,” she says. “It cannot rely on in-house sources to know what people are saying. If you’re not monitoring the conversation, you’re doing yourself a disservice.”

There are two kinds of employee bad-behavior crises, notes Obston. One relates directly to the business, such as embezzlement. The other may not be directly work-related and is more character related. The initial company response for both is generally the same, she says.

First, “State you know about it,” says Obston. Then, “Demonstrate concern and compassion. Third, state that what [the employee] did is the antithesis of what you believe are your corporate values.”

If Obston were working with the employee, “I’d counsel him to come out as a human being and apologize,” she says.

“A successful crisis response is always governed by mission,” Obston says, adding that the response should last “as long as it’s out there.” However, she cautions, “you have to be careful you don’t feed it.”

 

 NORTHFORD — The state’s Department of Labor wants to make sure former employees of Honeywell Analytics-Northford are aware of their eligibility to apply for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance. Among possible benefits are income support in the form of Trade Readjustment Allowance, job search and relocation allowances; and training. In addition, workers who are age 50 or older who secure a job at a lower-paying rate than the pay rate held at Honeywell could be eligible for a wage subsidy. For more information, those affected should contact their nearest Job Center and/or visit ct.gov/dol.

 EAST HARTFORD — In a visit to Goodwin College last month, Vice President Joseph Biden emphasized the importance of community colleges for job training, and the need for educational institutions to take into account business and industry needs when designing curricula. “[H]ere’s the deal. Your children all heard the phrase ‘outsourcing.’ Your grandchildren are going to hear the phrase ‘insourcing.’ Manufacturing is coming back to the United States of America,” Biden is quoted as saying in a White House release. However, Biden continued, available jobs will be different from the ones with which most workers have been familiar. “What’s coming back requires different skills than before,” he said. In preparation for current and future demand, Goodwin College added a manufacturing track to a curriculum that had been focused largely on career training in the medical fields. This year students can pursue an associate degree in supply chain and logistics management and in quality management systems. They can also earn a certificate in machining and in manufacturing and production. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who headed the Connecticut contingent accompanying Biden, said Connecticut’s manufacturing sector will expand to the point where it will need to hire 2,200 workers annually for some time in the near future.