Connecticut lost 1,500 net jobs in May to a level of 1,694,000 seasonally adjusted, according to new data from the state’s Department of Labor, which also revised the 300-job gain in April to a 500-job gain. As a result, Connecticut’s May unemployment rate is at 3.8%, seasonally adjusted, unchanged from the revised April level.
Private-sector employment declined by 1,600 to 1,457,400 jobs over the month of May, although it was up by 6,300 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 – gained 100 jobs last month to a total of 233,900, and is up 300 jobs from one year earlier.
Within Fairfield County, the labor markets in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk corridor and the Danbury area each saw increases of 100 jobs in May.
“With May’s decline of 1,500 jobs, seasonally adjusted employment growth through the first five months of the year is looking rather flat,” said Andy Condon, director of the DOL’s Office of Research. “Most sectors are seeing at least some annual growth, but trade — particularly retail trade, professional & business services and other services — are behind last year’s job numbers.”
Pete Gioia, economic adviser with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, pointed out that the state “only recovered 80% of lost jobs in the 111 months since the recession ended,” making it the only New England state not to have completely overcome the economic wreckage of the previous decade.
He also warned that new laws passed in the just-concluded legislative session, including paid family and medical leave and the minimum wage increase, will “hit small businesses particularly hard” and have no impact on growing employment opportunities.
“The most troubling thing is not just the lack of acknowledgement, but the apparent lack of interest in the job numbers from too many state legislators,” he said.