Connecticut gained 1,000 net jobs in January, according to data released by the state’s Department of Labor (DOL). The state also revised its 2018 job-gain statistics from the previously announced 19,000 to 10,000.
January’s job gains came from private-sector employment, which added 11,400 seasonally adjusted jobs over the year, with the government supersector remaining unchanged in January and unchanged over the year. By the end of 2018 and through January, the state’s unemployment level was 3.8 percent.
“The January jobs report starts the year on a good note with an increase of 1,000 net new jobs in Connecticut,” said Andy Condon, director of the DOL’s Office of Research. “However, the annual benchmark revision process conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics significantly reduced last year’s job-growth figures. These revisions replace monthly sample-based job estimates with more accurate, but time delayed values from our Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. As of September 2018, the benchmark revision process reduced the estimate of total job counts in Connecticut by 0.4 percent.”
Pete Gioia, economic adviser at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, expressed surprise over the DOL’s revised 2018 employment numbers.
“The benchmark revisions, based on actual payroll jobs, show that we ended 2018 a lot different than we thought we would,” he said. “The year-over-year numbers predicted an overall jobs gain of 19,900, but that figure was revised down nearly 50 percent to 10,000. If you look at private sector alone, that number is even more sobering. Our earlier gain of 23,100 jobs was revised down to 9,700.”
Gioia noted that Connecticut recorded a 0.6 percent job growth in 2018, which was higher than the 0.1 percent recorded in 2017 but still below the 1.8 percent national average. And while Gioia considered the January data “a promising start,” he warned that something more substantial was needed.
“However, we are not going to sustain any type of job growth if the legislature focuses more on new mandates and costs on businesses, rather than making them more competitive,” Gioia said. “We need to create a state where businesses are growing and investing, and it needs to be lawmakers’ top priority.”