Connecticut employers slashed 3,500 jobs in November, contributing to the unemployment rate rising to 4.6 percent, according to the state Department of Labor.
It’s the second consecutive month of significant job losses – the Labor Department reported that 6,200 jobs were cut in October – leading Pete Gioia, the economist for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, to say that “we now have a full-blown crisis in jobs.”
Since June, Connecticut has lost about 15,300 jobs. The unemployment rate in November rose one-tenth of a point to reach 4.6 percent; the U.S. jobless rate stands at 4.1 percent.
“Job growth in 2017 has slowed significantly since peaking in the second quarter,” Labor Department Research Director Andy Condon said. “However, November’s year-over-year decline of 700 jobs does not necessarily mean Connecticut has produced fewer jobs in 2017 than in 2016. On an annual average basis, Connecticut has grown 5,000 jobs over 2016 in the 12 months ending in November.”
However, such math did little to convince Gioia.
“It’s difficult to define the glass as half full when we see continued job losses like this,” he said, noting that Connecticut has recovered 70 percent of all jobs lost during the 2008-10 recession, one of just several states yet to reach the expansion point.
“We need bold reforms to jumpstart our stalled economy, and we need a retooling of our jobs pipeline,” Gioia said. “We know there are many thousands of jobs in manufacturing, trucking, building trades and certain financial services that are going begging, so it’s important that the administration, the legislature and the private sector work closely together to supply employers with the skilled employees they need.”
Gioia said that the state’s newly formed Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, charged with developing specific recommendations for promoting economic growth, will report to the legislature on March 1.
“Hopefully, this group can amplify the call for the kind of reforms we need to generate much-needed job growth,” he said.