According to the state Department of Labor, Connecticut gained 6,000 nonfarm jobs in December, while its unemployment rate remained constant at 4.6 percent – the highest in New England. Over the 2017 calendar year, nonfarm employment grew by 7,700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said.“December job growth ended the year on a better note than in previous months,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research at the Labor Department. The private sector accounted for all of December’s job growth.
Connecticut now has recovered 91,000, or 76.4 percent, of the 119,100 jobs it lost in the last recession. The private sector has regained 107,900 of the 111,700 jobs it lost.
While the Labor Department’s 2017 numbers are subject to revision in March, Connecticut Business and Industry Association economist Peter Gioia expressed his approval of the figures.
“This is the first good news we’ve gotten in a long while,” he said. “If those numbers hold up when the final report comes out in March, it will be a stark change from where we ended up in 2016, losing 200 jobs.”
Gioia noted that Connecticut’s manufacturing sector added 4,100 jobs in 2017, just the third time in nearly 30 years that the sector has posted annual gains.
Meanwhile, the news wasn’t particularly good for Fairfield County. Of the six major labor market areas tracked by the Labor Department, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk market lost 700 jobs in December, the highest of any labor market. Losses also were recorded in Waterbury and New Haven.
The Hartford, Norwich-New London-Westerly, and Danbury markets recorded gains, with the latter up by 100 jobs.