Connecticut’s unemployment rate fell from 5.1 percent to 4.7 percent in November as it added 2,100 jobs, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

And an October loss of 7,200 jobs was revised to a smaller loss of 5,800 positions. Overall for the calendar year, Connecticut has grown 1,400 jobs, a gain of 0.1 percent.

The 4.7 percent unemployment rate for November is seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than it was in November 2015.

“Connecticut’s rapidly declining unemployment rate is welcome news,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research. “However, recent months of payroll job counts may indicate a significant slowing of the state’s job growth. While there are circumstances, such as demographic shifts, increased self-employment and growing out-of- state commuting, where these two movements can happen at the same time, we do not yet have data to support a definitive trend.”

In the private sector alone, employment rose by 1,200 jobs in November and remains up 2,500 jobs for the calendar year. Government sector employment rose by 900 positions last month.

Connecticut now has recovered 85,700 of the 119,100 jobs it lost in the last recession, or about 72 percent. The state now has gone 81 months since the recession ended without making a full jobs recovery. The private sector has regained 96,800 of the 111,700 jobs it lost during the last major downturn, a recovery rate of 86.7 percent.

“This is positive news and we remain determined to continue to move in a direction that will encourage businesses to grow their employment base here in our state and attract out-of-state companies to move within our borders,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “One of the ways we are going to accomplish this is by creating more structural stability within our state finances in order to create more predictability for businesses.”

“This is the positive change that we’ve been waiting for and mirrors the job growth information we’ve been hearing from many of our members,” said Peter Gioia, chief economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

November’s state jobs numbers “were a small step in the right direction, offering a short-term reprieve, but despite November’s job gain we’ve still seen significant and widespread job losses, down by 11,400 jobs over the last five months,” said Don Klepper-Smith, an economist with DataCore Partners in Durham and former chief economic advisor under Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

Klepper-Smith noted that while Connecticut’s economy still hasn’t recovered fully from The Great Recession, the nation has regained 177 percent of the jobs it lost.

Six of the state’s 10 major industry super-sectors increased employment in November led by trade, transportation and utilities, which was up by 1,600 positions.

Other super-sectors reporting gains were: leisure and hospitality; government; education and health services; information; and other services.

The construction and mining super-sector saw the biggest loss, down 1,800 jobs. Losses also were recorded in: financial activities; manufacturing; and professional and business services.

The New Haven labor market gained 2,200 jobs while the other three markets lost jobs.

Connecticut and U.S. unemployment rates over time
Connecticut and U.S. unemployment rates over time

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

Leave a comment