Connecticut lost 1,300 net jobs in March to a level of 1,693,400 seasonally adjusted, according to new data from the state’s Department of Labor, which also revised the 400-job loss to a 400-job gain in February. As a result, Connecticut’s March unemployment rate is at 3.9%, seasonally adjusted, up one-tenth from the revised February level.
Private-sector employment declined by 1,100 to 1,456,500 jobs over the month in March, although it was up by 7,300 seasonally adjusted jobs from a year ago. The government supersector – which includes federal, state and municipal positions along with public high education and tribal casino employment – dropped by 200 jobs last month to a total of 236,900, remaining flat year over year.
The state added that Connecticut recovered 96,600 jobs of the 120,300 seasonally adjusted jobs lost in the Great Recession, while the local private sector recovered 111,100 of the 112,000 of the jobs it lost during this period.
“With the March decline of 1,300 jobs, the three-month average of job growth is now negative,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research. “However, annual job growth has actually improved as the first quarter of 2018 was very weak.”
Pete Gioia, economic adviser with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, pointed out that the state has lost 3,400 jobs in the first quarter of this year and warned that the reluctance by elected officials to cut government spending while advocating for new workplace mandates has created “continued barriers to investment, job creation and economic growth.” Gioia said this policy focus will continue to drive jobs out of the state.
“People are reacting to these bills that will add significant costs and burdens to employers, particularly small employers across the state,” he said. “How many more jobs do we have to lose before the legislature changes its direction?”