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Connecticut Unemployment Rate Improves Slightly

Posted on April 19, 2010

Finally some good news on the jobs front concerning the Connecticut unemployment rate.

The state’s nonfarm employment in March was 1,614,500, an increase of 3,000 jobs from the revised February 2010 figure of 1,611,500, the Connecticut Department of Labor announced today. On a seasonally adjusted basis, this is a decrease of 30,600 from the March 2009 total of 1,645,100 jobs.

“We have now seen three months of job gains in Connecticut, possibly one of the best indications we have seen to date that our economy is beginning to take a more positive turn,” noted Labor Statistics Supervisor Salvatore DiPillo. “We saw healthy gains in six of our major industry sectors, including manufacturing and construction – two areas that have suffered heavy losses as a result of the economic downturn. The gain of 3,000 new jobs parallels the growth we are seeing at the national level and gives us hope that this recession may be nearing its end.”

With job gains in six of Connecticut’s 10 major industry sectors, losses in three, and one sector unchanged, net gains exceeded losses. The biggest employment gain was found in leisure and hospitality up 1,400 jobs, closely followed by the educational and health services sector, which added 1,300 jobs. Smaller gains occurred in the manufacturing sector, up 700; trade, transportation and utilities, up 600 jobs; information, up 500; and construction, up by 400. The other services sector experienced the greatest loss of jobs, down 900, followed by government, with a loss of 700 jobs, while the financial activities sector was off by 300.

Employment in the professional and business sector was unchanged between February and March. Connecticut’s nonfarm
employment is now down 97,000 jobs from its pre-recession peak employment of 1,711,500 in March 2008, a decline of 5.7 percent.

Employment in the construction sector was up 400 jobs, for a total of 52,500 jobs in March. The positive trend in recent months is in marked contrast to the large monthly losses of a year or so ago. Still, this sector, which first began losing jobs in November 2007 – well before most other sectors – is currently down by nearly 25 percent since that time.

The manufacturing sector also showed positive gains, with 700 new jobs in March, most of these added by durable goods industry employers. Employment gains in February and March in this sector have helped to recover those lost in January. Despite the improvement, however, employment in the manufacturing sector at 167,500, is down nearly five percent over the year.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector gained 600 jobs in March, with jobs now numbering 289,600. Job gains at retail establishments more than compensated for losses at wholesale and transportation, warehousing and utilities places of work. While there were employment losses in all component industries of this sector over the year, those in retail were relatively fewer.

Employment in the information sector was up 500 in March – representing only the fifth monthly job gain in the past two years. This sector, which includes publishing industries including newspapers, has experienced job losses since 2000 – well before the current recession began. With 34,300 jobs in March, employment in this sector is down 27 percent from its peak in 2000.

The educational and health services sector again added jobs in March, as it has in nine of the past 12 months, to total 309,800. Both educational services and health care and social assistance have contributed their share of new jobs, adding 1,800 and 6,800 jobs respectively, since last March.