Unemployment stuck at 9.1% as Malloy touts job growth

ENFIELD–On a day when new data showed the state’s monthly unemployment rate unchanged at 9.1 percent, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy dropped by a Comcast call center that is adding 100 customer service jobs, bringing its state workforce to 1,600.

Malloy applauded the cable-television company’s investment in a state-of-the-art call center in Enfield, saying he hoped it would be the first of many expansion announcements in a state that struggled to achieve net job growth even before the recession.

“We believe that we will be a location of choice in a matter of a few years, and this is an important down payment, something that I wanted to be here to celebrate,” Malloy said.

Malloy said the monthly numbers released today had a nugget of good news: private-sector jobs grew slightly, though the public-sector jobs in state, municipal and tribal governments shrank.

“I actually saw some good things in those statistics,” Malloy said. “If the private sector can produce jobs and we can get by without causing a lot of municipal and state employees to become unemployed, that would be a good thing for our economy. But some things are beyond our control.”

Whether state employees approve or reject a tentative concessions-and-labor savings agreement will influence public-sector employment over the near-term.

Mallloy has said a rejection will mean the mass layoffs of state employees and a cutback in spending, including a reduction in aid to municipalities, which would translate to municipal layoffs.

With the exception of a one-month blip attributed to temporary census jobs, public sector employment has had 29 straight months of job losses in year-over-year numbers, a measure that compares monthly employment to the same month a year earlier.

The numbers released today by the Department of Labor show 12 straight months of slight job growth in month-over-month numbers in the Bridgeport labor market, five months in Hartford and seven months in Enfield.

Comcast is holding an open house for job applicants Monday, June 27 from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. The call center is at 1 Vision Drive, Enfield. Applicants can apply online.