Connecticut lost 5,200 jobs in September – its third consecutive month of decline – but its unemployment rate fell from 5.6 percent to 5.4 percent, according to the state Department of Labor (DOL). The latter decrease was due to the state’s labor force – consisting both of the employed and those seeking work – growing by 0.1 percent during the month; it was up 1.1 percent this year over the first nine months of 2015.
“Connecticut saw job losses in September for the third month in a row, and our three-month average of total non-farm jobs saw its first decline this year,” said Andy Condon, director of the DOL’s Office of Research. “However, market signs are mixed as the state’s unemployment rate continues to fall.”
Over the year, nonagricultural employment in the state has grown by approximately 12,800 jobs (0.8 percent, 1,067 jobs per month), while the September job loss was fueled by only three of the 10 major industry supersectors recording gains.
Trade, transportation and utilities added the most jobs last month (1,200 to 298,400 positions, up 0.4 percent from August), followed by professional and business services (900 to 219,400, up 0.4 percent) and construction and mining (600 to 57,400, up 1.1 percent).
Meanwhile, the government supersector recorded a sharp loss, driven by more than 1,050 state-level layoffs since mid-April; the category lost 2,500 jobs to 238,600, a 4.1 percent decrease. Leisure and hospitality also lost ground (-1,500 to 154,000, down 1.0 percent), though it remains the leading supersector in annual growth on both a total (3,300 jobs added) and percentage gain (up 2.2 percent) basis.
Declines were also recorded in the other services supersector (-1,300 to 64,600, -2.0 percent), private education and health services (-1,100 to 328,000, -0.3 percent), financial (-900 to 131,800, -0.7 percent), information (-400 to 33,200, -1.2 percent) and manufacturing (-200 to 159,600, -0.1 percent).
The DOL said that Connecticut has now recovered 90,800 positions, or 76.2 percent of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state during the Mar. 2008-Feb. 2010 recession. The state needs to reach the 1,713,300 seasonally adjusted job mark to enter an employment expansion, which will require 28,300 additional nonfarm jobs to be created.
Connecticut’s nonfarm jobs recovery is now 79 months old and is averaging roughly 1,149 jobs per month since February 2010. Connecticut’s private sector has reclaimed employment at a better pace, recovering 99,900 (89.4 percent, about 1,265 jobs per month) of the 111,700 private sector positions that were lost during the downturn.