Over 110,000 jobs will be added in Connecticut over a 10-year period ending in 2026, an increase of 5.9 percent, according to a new report by the state’s Department of Labor and Department of Economic and Community Development.
The sector predicted to show the strongest growth is health care, which, driven by an aging population, is forecast to grow by 21,163 jobs between 2016 and 2026, an increase of 9.5 percent. That expected 10-year increase is comparable to the 21,202 jobs added from 2006 to 2016. In total, 22 percent of expected job gains through 2026 are predicted to take place in the sector.
Other sectors predicted to post significant job gains are Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (up 12,341 jobs, or 12.7 percent), Social Assistance (up 11,166 jobs, or 17.7 percent) and Manufacturing (up 10,197 jobs, or 6.5 percent).
The manufacturing numbers are of particular interest, as that sector has been relatively flat in job creation since 2010. According to the report, “Labor force demographics will present challenges to achieving this growth. Manufacturing sector has a higher percentage of workers over age 54 than the overall Connecticut economy (35 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in 2017).
“Connecticut will need to produce enough manufacturing workers to take the projected new jobs and replace workers who will retire before 2026,” it added.
In the meantime, the aging population will result in a decrease in jobs in the education sector. While the rest of the U.S. is expected to grow by an average of about 14 percent by 2026, Connecticut’s education sector will decrease by 0.8 percent as younger generations leave the state, according to the report.
Connecticut’s predicted 5.9 percent increase still lags the predicted national rate of 7.4 percent by 2026, the report noted.