CT gains jobs in October but unemployment rate remains fixed

Connecticut's unemployment rate as compiled by the Department of Labor's Office of Research

Connecticut’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, as compiled by the Department of Labor’s Office of Research

Connecticut’s jobless rate remained fixed at 6.4 percent in October, despite the addition of about 3,600 new jobs, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The agency’s latest report also downgraded job growth estimates it had released two weeks before Election Day. Back on Oct. 20, labor officials said Connecticut gained 11,500 jobs in September, it’s single-largest monthly gain since April 1994. But Thursday it revised the September gain downward by 1,000 jobs to 10,500.

“Connecticut’s job market continues to steadily add jobs this year at its best pace since the recovery began, and that growth seems to be drawing more people into the labor force,” said Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research.

“These numbers are another sign of progress,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday.  “We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure Connecticut remains on a path towards an economic revival.  By working with the business community on expanding their operations or relocating to our state, we are putting Connecticut on the path to long-term prosperity.”

Retail trade was particularly strong in adding jobs in October, Condon said.

Trade, transportation and utilities was one of four industry supersectors to report job gains in October, driven by very strong increases in retail trade. Other supersectors to post gains were: education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and professional, scientific and technical services.

Five supersectors lost jobs in October, led by government employment. Other sectors to lose ground were: financial activities, manufacturing, construction and mining, and information.

Despite the overall job gains in October, Connecticut’s labor force – which includes the unemployed who are looking for work – also has grown, leaving the jobless rate unchanged.

Labor officials warned one month ago that the September job growth was a preliminary estimate, and major gains and losses typically are modified in future reports as more data becomes available.

Connecticut now has recovered 87,900 or almost 74 percent of the 119,100 jobs it lost during the last recession. Though job growth has picked up in 2014 – without 23,000 jobs added so far this year – Connecticut’s recovery still trails the nation’s, which already has restored all jobs lost in the last recession.

Connecticut's unemployment rate vs. the nation's in October 2014

Connecticut’s unemployment rate (blue line) since 1982 vs. the nation’s (green line) through October 2014. Click on image to enlarge.