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Connecticut jobs climb sharply

Posted on August 18, 2013

With the release of the latest jobs report, it has become known that the number of Connecticut jobs climbed sharply, and many economists are glad for the report.

Connecticut gained 11,500 jobs (0.7%), even as the unemployment rate ticked up a notch to 8.1%, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research.

Connecticut’s unemployment rate moved slightly higher to 8.1% in July but was down five-tenths of a percentage point from a year ago with 11,948 fewer unemployed residents. June’s rate was revised down a tenth to 8.0% on more complete information. The unemployment rate had held steady at 8.0% for the five prior consecutive months.

July nonfarm job estimates grew rapidly in July, adding 11,500 positions (0.7%) to a total of 1,661,900 (seasonally adjusted). This sizable monthly gain was considered statistically significant. Connecticut has now added 23,100 nonfarm jobs (1.4%) since July 2012 – a new recovery highpoint in the state. Private sector hiring was also robust in July (7,300, 0.5%). Private companies have now added 17,900 jobs (1.3%) over the year.

“Excluding May 2010, when jobs were boosted by temporary Census employment, this month’s nonfarm job gain is the best so far during this recovery which began in February 2010,” said Andy Condon, Director of the Office of Research. “Improvements were seen across most of Connecticut’s industry sectors. However, our sample-based monthly employment estimates can be volatile, and we advise looking at trends over longer periods of time. Even on this basis we are seeing substantial improvement over last year. If this level of growth continues, we should see improvements in the state’s unemployment rate in the near future.”

Connecticut has now recovered 70,100 positions, or 57.8% of the 121,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state in the March 2008 – February 2010 employment downturn. The Connecticut jobs recovery is now 41 months old and is averaging roughly 1,710 jobs per month since February 2010. The private sector has grown faster and recouped 70,700 (62.0%, 1,724 per month) of the 114,000 private jobs that were lost during the same period.

Four of the six major Connecticut Labor Market Areas (LMAs) posted job gains in July 2013, while two LMAs recorded job losses. The two largest LMAs, the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford LMA (3,900, 0.7%) and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk LMA (1,000, 0.2%) again added the most jobs in July (in magnitude), as they did in June. The Danbury LMA (600, 0.9%) was the strongest job grower in percentage terms over the month. The New Haven LMA (400, 0.1%) also posted a small gain. The Waterbury LMA (-800, -1.3%) lost the most jobs in magnitude and percentage terms over the month. The Norwich-New London LMA (-200, -0.2%) also was slightly lower in July and continues to be the weakest LMA over the year (-1,700, -1.3%).