Connecticut saw the addition of 1,100 net jobs in December to a seasonally adjusted level of 1.7 million, according to new data reported by the state’s Department of Labor. The November data reporting a job loss of 500 was revised up by 1,500 jobs to a gain of 1,000 over the month.Over the year, nonagricultural employment in the state grew by 19,900 jobs, a 1.2 percent increase from December 2018. Private-sector employment fell by 1,600 to 1.47 million jobs over the month in December and expanded by 23,500 seasonally adjusted jobs over the year. However, the government supersector – which encompasses federal, state and local employment, plus public higher education and casino employment on tribal lands – recorded a loss of 500 in December to a total of 227,500, with over-the-year losses at 3,600 or a 1.6 percent decline.
With December’s data, Connecticut has now recovered 111,300 jobs of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted jobs lost in the Great Recession, or 93.5 percent. The job recovery is into its 106th month and the state will need an additional 7,800 net new jobs to reach an overall nonfarm employment expansion.
On a submarket measurement, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area saw the greatest gains for December with 1,000 net new positions, while Norwich-New London-Westerly, Rhode Island corridor and the Hartford submarket each dropped 300 jobs and the Danbury area saw 100 positions disappear.
“The December jobs report ends the year on a high note,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research. “Preliminary numbers indicate that we saw job growth in almost every major industry sector in the state’s labor market. Unemployment fell five-tenths of a point since December 2017 to 4 percent. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual benchmark revisions to our jobs numbers will be completed in March and we have seen significant downward revisions in recent years.”
Pete Gioia, economic adviser with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, welcomed the new data. “If you take a look at the year-over-year figures, we have some of the best numbers we’ve seen in a long while,” he said. “The private sector’s growth of 23,500 is the best number we’ve seen since 1998 when we gained 25,800 jobs.”
But Gioia warned that there might be rough waves in the coming year. “On the national level, there are some headwinds,” he said. “The tariff situation is still a concern, there’s volatility in the markets and the government shutdown may have an effect on many industries. More importantly, we’re at the beginning of this legislative session and lawmakers must do what they can to accelerate growth, not slow it down with bad policy decisions.”