The Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) has a mildly optimistic outlook for the state’s future, predicting an average annual growth rate in employment of 0.3 percent, potentially bringing the employment level to 1.783 million by the first quarter of 2017 from 2015’s figure of 1.771 million.
The DOL said that as of March 2016, Connecticut has regained 76.7 percent of the jobs it lost in the most recent recession – putting it on par with neighboring states like Maine (79.5 percent) and Rhode Island (87.9 percent) but well behind New York (259.1 percent) and Massachusetts (245.6 percent).
As of 2015, Connecticut has yet to regain all of the nonfarm employment lost in the recession. Although 66,000 jobs have been added since the recession’s low point in 2010, that’s still 25,100 positions below the peak year of 2008. The largest losses came from the fields of construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; and the professional and business services sectors, which together accounted for 80 percent of lost jobs.
The one sector that improved during the recession was education and health services, which increased by roughly 10,000 jobs. The DOL expects the trend to continue through 2017, predicting a 5.3 percent increase in employment, or 1,450 new jobs, for personal care aides, followed by maids and housekeeping cleaners (up 4.2 percent, with 660 new jobs); registered nurses (up 1.9 percent, with 630 new jobs); nursing assistants (increasing by 2.6 percent, with 580 new jobs); and childcare workers (increasing by 3.4 percent, with 580 new jobs).
Fastest-shrinking jobs through 2017 are expected to be bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks (down 2.6 percent, losing 510 jobs); tellers (down 5.0 percent, losing 260 jobs); secretaries/administrative assistants outside of the legal, medical and executive sectors (decreasing 0.8 percent, losing 250 jobs); executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants (down 2.3 percent, losing 200 jobs); and fast food cooks (declining 3.0 percent, losing 200 jobs).
All told, Connecticut’s occupational employment is expected to grow by 11,890 jobs over the 2015-2017 projections period.