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Connecticut Job Losses to Increase through 2011

Posted on May 12, 2009

A staggering number of Connecticut jobs could still be lost during the next two years.

The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis recently released a report that found the State of Connecticut could lose 40,000 more jobs through 2011. That would bring the total number of jobs lost during the recession to at least 110,000, depending on whether or not the federal economic stimulus package is able to slow the losing trend.

The state has faced two consecutive quarters of job losses totaling 39,000. So far, the state has lost 70,000 jobs since employment topped out two years ago, meaning its only two-thirds of the way to its projected low point.

”Jobs just aren’t going to be plentiful,” Peter Gunther, author of the report, said. “It means tough times for everybody.”

CCEA Director Fred Carstensen said economists at the University of Connecticut went as far as they were able to go in terms of projections for the low point of employment during the first quarter of 2011. The predictions mean the recession will last about two-and-a-half years in Connecticut, which would be the states longest downturn since 1929 to 1933.

”We can’t find the bottom,” Carstensen said. “We were surprised. We’ve never had a forecast that was this dreary. Since World War II, that’s historically unprecedented in its scope and length of contraction.”

The report further found that the state may be lengthening the recession and making it harder on itself by delaying or canceling up to $700 million in capital projects. That alone could result in the loss of 15,000 to 20,000 jobs.

Further holding the economy back are major declines in exports, falling numbers in housing permits and the consequent job losses in fields such as construction, retail, finance, insurance and real estate. In order to redeem itself, officials suggest the state implement strategic initiatives to improve economic conditions throughout the state, such as green energy or incentives for companies focused on stem cell research.