CT jobless rate falls to 4.2 percent based on August job gains

Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent Thursday despite the loss of 500 jobs in September, as labor officials announced August job growth was larger than originally anticipated.

The state Department of Labor reported 3,300 non-farm jobs gained in August, triple the number originally reported. This drove the jobless rate down by one-tenth of 1 percent.

“Despite the drop of 500 jobs in September, Connecticut’s labor market appears strong,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research, who added that job growth for the year is up nearly 20,000 positions. “Only the trade, information and government super-sectors show annual job losses.”

Connecticut now has recovered 107,100 of the 119,100 jobs, or 89.9 percent of the positions lost in the last recession, which ran from March 2008 through February 2010, according to the department.

The private sector has fully recovered and is at 113.9 percent of where it stood before the last economic downturn. But Connecticut’s government super-sector, which includes municipal, state and federal posts as well as jobs at the two tribal casinos in New London County, remains well below pre-recession levels.

Five of the state’s 10 major job super-sectors tracked by the department added jobs in September, led by construction, which was up 1,000 positions. Gains also were reported in: manufacturing; financial activities; government and other services.

The trade, transportation and utilities super-sector lost the most jobs in September, down 2,300 positions. Losses also were reported in: leisure and hospitality; information; education and health; and business services.

The Hartford area market recorded the largest regional gain, up 1,200 jobs last month. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk labor market added 500 positions.

The New Haven market recorded the largest decline, dropping 1,100 jobs, while the Waterbury, Danbury and Norwich-New London-Westerly markets also recorded losses.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy hailed the latest jobs report, saying it demonstrates momentum in Connecticut’s long-term effort to grow post-recession employment.

“While it’s easy to get distracted by short-term gains and losses, doing so risks missing the important bigger picture,” Malloy said, recalling that unemployment stood as high as 9.3 percent in December 2010.

“When we lose sight of the significant progress made in our recovery, people become susceptible to false narratives,” the governor added. “The reality is that businesses and people are not leaving the state in droves. They’re deciding to set down roots and call Connecticut home because they understand that this is a great place to work, live, grow a business, and raise a family.”

But the Connecticut Business and Industry Association gave the latest jobs reported mixed reviews.

Though the jobless rate is down to 4.2 percent, CBIA economist Peter Gioia noted that that number remains the highest in the region.

“So we have a mixed picture because despite growth, we see continued volatility in job numbers and a real need for stability,” he said.

Gioia cited the strong monthly gains in construction, manufacturing, and financial activities as key positive signs.

“For the first time this year, financial activities is in the black and that’s important,” he said. “We won’t gain our full economic strength until we have our two powerhouses —financial activities and manufacturing — really going strong.


Alan October 19, 2018 at 8:28 am

The numbers do not reflect the 210+ workers at Konica that are going to be laid off. The numbers do not reflect the fact that many people are now working two jobs and making half as much as they used to in one job.
Malloy has squandered $1.4 BILLION of state bonded debt on corporate welfare…basically it was a slush fund and a vote buying scheme that failed for eight years.A fine example…three million for an indoor tomato farm upstate. The DECD is a joke and, slogans aside, Connecticut was never open for business except for the usual monkey business in Hartford.
Malloy speaks of false narratives. I would suggest that his time in Hartford and Stamford is the worst work of fiction this state has ever had to deal with.

Kevin Kane October 19, 2018 at 9:32 am

It’s common knowledge CT is in the toilet so I’ll skip the commentary reiterating that.

On the bright side:
Nancy – I see you are picking up articles from CTMirror and in this case one of Keith’s. Gail Lavielle hosted Keith at Wilton Library a year or so ago and he gave an AMAZING recap of CT’s finances and a budgeting 101 recap to the public in attendance. I think it would be great if Norwalk hosted one at Town Hall or otherwise. Attendance should be mandatory – he did a fantastic job of distilling down the process into small bites. Just a thought. Thanks, Kevin

Alan October 19, 2018 at 11:06 am

I second that! Keith Phaneuf as well. Also pick up Jon Lender’s work and Kevin Rennie. They do excellent reporting that should be required reading by all in this state.

Piberman October 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Now the once independent CTMirror is providing commentary to the Hearst organization its now making an appearance in Nancy’s . Progress of a sort now that Hearst is gobbling up what’s left of CT’s remaining daily and weekly newspapers. The problem with Phaneuf’s article is 3 fold. First, he doesn’t highlight CT is one of the very few states unable to regain employment levels back in 2008. Second, monthly job reports are notoriously volatile and often changed. Third he omits an opportunity to identify major new firms entering the CT economy. All in the article looks as if it were written up in Hartford for election copy. Despite an unprecedented economic boom nationwide CT’s economy is stagnanting. And our elected leaders seem unable to make real progress here. Come the next Recession CT residents will further appreciate the capabilities of their electing leaders “standing up for us”.

Bob Welsh October 19, 2018 at 12:09 pm


Thanks for your comment. CTMirror remains independent, doing excellent non-profit journalism in the public interest. NoN included CTMirror content before Hearst did.

Alan October 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Piberman, you got that right! The next recession is going to be awful for this state. All the unrealistic 8% growth projections in the pension will be a fine wake up call.
Malloy,Napier,Aresimowicz,Looney,Sharkey and all the rest will be collecting their pensions regardless of their performance.
This state is in for a world of hurt.
Amazing how Malloy had to go to Massachusetts to find a job. Some might say ironic, but it is probably related to how BC was paid to do a study on the Ct. Retirement System. Cashing in a chit at the old favor bank…that is Malloy’s M.O

Kevin Kane October 19, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Oh my! Thanks Alan and NON. I had no idea Malloy outsourced himself to an “employer” in Massachusetts. You can’t make it up. I’ll file that away.
PiBerman – noted but Phaneuf blew the audience out of the water with his findings and analysis. If Hearst was in the room reporting on the presentation, they would have nothing to print as absolutely none of it was rosy – pure thorns.

Patrick Cooper October 19, 2018 at 11:06 pm

@Allen – nice to see your looking at the issues correctly, party politics to the side. Welcome to the club. It alters perspective – but know first your conclusive results can be initially awkward, and challenging. It is very hard to accept that the folks you thought were supportive are in fact selling you out. Listen to your inner voice. It’s right.

Alan October 20, 2018 at 10:04 am

My delightful dreams last night became today’s nightmare when I woke up and read an article about state pension funds getting taken to the cleaners by Wall Street, and am now wondering what will become of Connecticut’s $127.7 BILLION of unfunded pension obligations?
We are second only to Alaska with a per person debt of $35,721, or so.
Malloy promised not to “kick the can” but that is exactly what he did from day one,and his “re-fi” of pension obligations pushed the day of reckoning to 2046. How can a state function when 50% of the budget is already obligated to its workforce? A work force that,thanks to Dan Malloy, can’t be fired for another ten years.
And who has been in charge of the State Treasury? You may have voted for her, but did you trust her skill set? And why did a new hire (Sean Crawford, $325K salary) quit after ten days on the job?
As I have said, Connecticut is in for a world of hurt no matter who gets elected! I may not be able to sleep tonight thinking about all this!

Ron Morris October 20, 2018 at 9:00 pm

I agree with Alan on the pension issue. However he failed to mention that these pensions and union contracts were created under the twice convicted felon Republican Rowland.

Piberman October 22, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Everyone who has seriously reviewed CT’s enormous unfunded pension liabilities comes to the same menu options. The options are renegotiations with CT’s public Unions to sharply reduce pension costs, major tax hikes to adequately fund the current pension obligations or curtail other State funding to preserve the State pensions.

The power of CT’s State public Unions and their Democrat bedfellows ensures the unfunded pension problem will not readily be resolved in either the near or distant futures.

BTW neither Hour’s article nor the one from CT Mirror did not make “original analysis”. The Yankee Institute has long studied the issue and articled the possible outcomes. But who is paying attention ?

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