Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped by slightly to 3.6 percent in July despite the loss of 100 jobs, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.

That’s because the labor department also revised June job losses from 1,400 positions lost to just 800. The June unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.

Connecticut has gained 3,200 jobs over the past year and now has recovered 80 percent or 95,900 of the 120,300 positions lost during the last recession. The private sector has fully recovered, having added 112,400 of the 112,000 jobs lost, a rate of 100.4 percent.

“July’s payroll employment was essentially flat to June’s,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research at the labor department. “It’s important to recognize that there is plenty of hiring activity even if net growth is very small.”

Condon said, for example, that it took 76,000 hires and 71,000 firings, resignations and other job separations in the final quarter of 2018 to produce net growth of 5,000 jobs.

Six of Connecticut’s 10 major industry super-sectors gained employment in July led by the government, which added 600 positions. The government super-sector includes all federal, state and local employment, including public higher education and Native American casino employment located on tribal land. 

Other super-sectors that recorded  job gains last month included: information; education and health services; other services; financial activities; and trade, transportation and utilities.

The largest July decline, about 1,000 jobs, was recorded in the leisure and hospitality super-sector. Job losses also were recorded in manufacturing, professional and business services, and construction and mining.

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and New Haven regional labor markets added jobs last month, while Danbury remained unchanged. Job losses were recorded in the Waterbury, Norwich-New Lond0n-Westerly and Hartford markets.

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Keith M. PhaneufState Budget Reporter

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.

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  1. A 3.4% unemployment rate would normally be associated with labor shortages in just about all sectors, at all levels. That is not the case in Connecticut, where we have housing-sector deflation, retail-sector and service-sector contraction/instability, low construction-trades activity, and similar descriptions of virtually all economic sectors of the state.
    It is very difficult to conceive of 3.4% unemployment with such slack and stagnation evident in the state economy. The only way to make sense of such a statistic is to assume a gross counting discrepancy (of the numbers of Connecticut unemployed) and/or a situation of a very small eligible-labor pool in the state.
    In any event, juxtaposing such a low unemployment number against the symptoms of Connecticut’s slack economic activity, presents as an obvious, glaring incongruity…

  2. I’m curious. It is my understanding that “Unemployment Benefits in the State of Connecticut” are restricted to a “Maximum of 26 Weeks”. If this is correct, wouldn’t individuals that began collecting at the start of the year, fall off the Unemployment Roles because they no longer qualify for benefits beyond that timeframe. Does anyone know if this is a factor influencing the extremely low number in a state with such a low job recovery rate?

  3. The state’s labor force has been stagnant to declining in recent months. Here’s a table published by the CT DoL:
    Note that these numbers are based on the household survey, which is comparatively small, and shows an increase in employment in recent years unsupported by the numbers from employers. (The difference appears to be a combination of noise, people working in other states, and the gig economy.)
    So the apparent stagnation may be optimistic.
    The unemployment rate doesn’t include people who have given up looking for work. So it tends to be another optimistic number.

  4. In the longer term, EVERY private sector has failed to recover the jobs lost post 2008 except two–in which low income jobs tend to dominate. Tourism and hospitality has seen significant, steady growth for a decade–virtually all of these jobs paying low wages and offering few benefits. The other area of significant growth has been in the health sector, where home health aides and other lower income jobs are a major contributor. Thus the real economy–total output in the state–had been shrinking steadily through 2017. 2018 finally saw some modest real growth, as did the first quarter of 2019. The real story is not about jobs, it is about the value of total output. And on that front CT has done very poorly, and has an economy now about the size it was in 2005. All of our neighboring states have fully recovered in both jobs and output; we need a serious discussion of why CT has lagged not just the nation, but its immediate neighbors. Why has CT done so poorly relative to those states, despite the quality of its workforce et al?

    1. Can you suggest an approach to studying something that hasn’t happened?
      Suppose the difference in this geographic area turned out to be New York City and Boston. Or some other factors CT is unlikely to replicate.
      That would change the focus from searching for growth to planning realistically for CT’s expectable situation. Which would be useful, but disappointing.

  5. Let’s face it, even recovery of jobs back to 2008 is being eleven years behind, and we really haven’t done that! Every insurance company sent jobs to India, and fired or forced out employees they replaced with Indian H-1bs. The recession was man made as will be the next one, and they will use it to justify more attacks on American citizens.

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