Connecticut posted a mixed jobs report for May on Thursday, recording the first monthly job loss of 2016, while unemployment remained unchanged at 5.7 percent.
“Connecticut’s decline of 1,400 jobs in May follows a very slow month for job growth across the country,” said Andy Condon, research director at the Department of Labor. “Our labor force saw small but equal percentage declines in both residents employed and unemployed, resulting in an unchanged unemployment rate.”
Five of the 10 labor sectors tracked by the labor department made gains, led by 1,200 jobs in manufacturing. The biggest losses came in retail, which shrank by 2,700 jobs.
The Connecticut Business and Industry Association called the latest jobs report “disappointing but expected” after the U.S. Labor Department’s recent announcement that the country lost 38,000 jobs in May.
CBIA economist Peter Gioia said, “It does point to the fact that we are still struggling here in Connecticut. … But this report does highlight that the economy and creating investment that creates jobs should be job number one for policymakers.”
Only one of the four labor market areas, Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, added jobs in May, up 100. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk market lost the most, down 1,300 positions. Losses also were recorded in the Norwich-New London-Westerly and New Haven markets.
Connecticut now has recovered 93,900 jobs, or 78.8 percent of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs lost during the employment recession of March 2008 to February 2010. It needs 25,200 more nonfarm jobs to reach 1,713,300 jobs, the threshold of a clear employment expansion.
The monthly labor report is based on separate surveys of households and businesses. The 1,400-job loss is based on the business survey, while the household survey is used to estimate the unemployment rate.
The business survey found average hourly earnings at $30.66, up 6.9 percent from the May 2015 hourly earnings estimate. But the DOL noted that other data sources do not support “this aggressive level of wage growth.”
The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index was only 1 percent.