By any objective metric, manufacturing continues its precipitous decline in Connecticut, where workers have been experiencing a steady erosion of both wages and number of jobs over the past year.

 

The latest data published in the most recent issue of the Connecticut Economic Digest show that the manufacturing sector in the state continued to shed jobs during 2012. 

 

The industry lost about 3,000 manufacturing jobs last year, and while the remaining workers are now working a slightly longer week (40.5 hours in January 2013 vs. 40.1 hours a year earlier), wages are down by nearly 10 percent from last year. The average production worker earned $22.58 per hour and took home $914.49 per week in January of this year, compared with $24.93 per hour and $999.69 per week for the same period in 2012.

 

The New Haven Labor Market Area (LMA) reported 25,500 manufacturing jobs as of January, down 400 from January 2012. For the same reporting period, durable-goods employment was down 200 jobs from last year, to 18,900.

 

Statewide, 162,700 manufacturing jobs were reported as of January, down from 165,300 in January 2012. Durable goods lost 1,700 jobs over the 12-month period, with almost each sector — including Machinery, Computers and Electronics, Transportation, and Aerospace — shedding between one and four percent of jobs since 2012. Only the subsector of fabricated metal — which employed 29,000 in January — gained 200 jobs over the past 12 months.

 

The report, authored by Jungmin Charles Joo, states that Connecticut had an overall gain of 4,700 jobs in January, and the current figure of 1.64 million employed in the state is 8,000 more than in January 2012, and is a new high point in the economic recovery.

 

Joo notes that it is unlikely the state will see the same employment recoveries as in the 1970s and 1980s, due to “significant demographic and structural changes” in the world, nation and state in recent years. However, Connecticut’s “modest growth,” he says, should continue over the year.

 

The report can be downloaded at ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi.