Connecticut lost 6,600 jobs in October, primarily due to losses in seasonal employment and hospitality services, the state Department of Labor reported.The number of unemployed residents fell by 1,500, while the number of residents employed also fell by 6,400. As a result, Connecticut’s unemployment rate fell by one-tenth of a point to 4.5 percent in October, seasonally adjusted. The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent last month.
“October’s decline of 6,600 seasonally adjusted payroll jobs is not good news, but it is not as bad as it appears,” said Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s office of research. “Nearly half the decline comes from the very seasonal leisure and hospitality sector. This loss is exaggerated because the very high summer peak season employment levels were well ahead of last year.”
Over the year, nonagricultural employment in the state grew by 1,400 jobs, or 0.1 percent, and September’s originally-released job loss of 2,000 was revised upward to a gain of 300 for the month.
Connecticut has recovered 72.5 percent of the jobs lost in the recession, well behind the recovery rate of many states, which now show a net gain of jobs.
“We hear from companies daily, particularly manufacturers, that they can’t find qualified workers and until we fix this problem, we may continue to see disappointing or subpar reports,” said Pete Gioia, economist at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. “The lack of job growth highlights our workforce development concerns; we’re not keeping pace with the number of retirements.
“Workforce development should be job one going forward for Connecticut to turn this situation around,” Gioia said.