A job fair in 2021. Connecticut's employment numbers still lag the nation's, a new report says. Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

The Commerce Committee passed several bills aimed at better understanding and easing strain in the state’s labor market.

Senate Bills 1089 and 869 would expand the responsibilities of the Office of Workforce Strategy, adding career training opportunities and developing an apprenticeship program. S.B. 950 and 951 call on the Department of Economic and Community Development to study the state’s workforce shortages.

S.B. 849 and 1090 target younger members of the workforce, with 1090 allowing 15-year-olds to work certain jobs in recreational fields and 849 establishing the “Learn Here, Live Here” homebuying incentive program aimed at graduates of Connecticut high schools.

[READ MORE: Report: Lagging CT job growth will hamper state economy]

Erica covers economic development for CT Mirror. Before moving to Connecticut to join the staff she worked in Los Angeles for public radio’s Marketplace and, before that, for the Wall Street Journal's L.A. bureau. She grew up in Minneapolis, MN, graduated from Haverford College and earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.