Back-to-back state job losses

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - OBITUARIES - By Chris­tine Stu­art ctnewsjunkie.com

HART­FORD » For the sec­ond month in a row, Con­necti­cut lost pay­roll jobs, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary num­bers from the U.S. Bureau of La­bor.

In Au­gust, the state lost 3,900 jobs, which fol­lows a re­vised job loss of 1,100 jobs in July.

“Au­gust’s de­cline of 3,900 pay­roll jobs leaves the three-month av­er­age job gain in Con­necti­cut nearly flat,” Andy Con­don, di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Re­search, said. “Nev­er­the­less, due to a de­cline in the state’s la­bor force, the un­em­ploy­ment rate fell to 4.8 per­cent.”

Pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ment in Au­gust dropped by 3,700 jobs and the gov- ern­ment lost 200 jobs last month.

That means Con­necti­cut’s pri­vate sec­tor, which had fi­nally re­cov­ered 102 per­cent of the jobs lost in the Great Re­ces­sion, has dropped back down to 96.7 per­cent.

Over­all, Con­necti­cut has now re­cover 78.1 per­cent of the jobs it lost in the re­ces­sion. It means Con­necti­cut is 26,100 jobs away from at­tain­ing full job re­cov­ery. The gov­ern­ment su­per­sec­tor has lost a to­tal of 22,400 po­si­tions since the re­ces­sion be­gan in March 2008.

Dat­a­core Part­ners Econ­o­mist Don Klep­per-Smith said it seems the job gains in May and June were not sus­tain­able.

“We’ve now seen backto-back job losses to­tal­ing 5,600 jobs and the la­bor mar­kets are now headed in the wrong di­rec­tion due to a host of fac­tors,” Klep­per-Smith said.

He said the ag­gre­gate data is show­ing that the Con­necti­cut econ­omy “is now mov­ing side­ways more than any­thing else, while the risk of re­ces­sion over the next 12 months is tan­gi­ble and ris­ing.”

The rea­son he said is be­cause Con­necti­cut is “still deal­ing with the com­bi­na­tion of per­sis­tent bud­get prob­lems at the state and lo­cal level, wan­ing busi­ness con­fi­dence, mul­ti­ple down­grades in the state’s bond rat­ing, a po­ten­tial bank­ruptcy within the City of Hart­ford, and greater lev­els of over­all eco­nomic un­cer­tainty, which do not bode well for Con­necti­cut’s job mar­ket over the near-term.”

Pete Gioia, an econ­o­mist with the Con­necti­cut Busi­ness and In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, said the num­bers are “a ma­jor re­treat from the pos­i­tive mo­men­tum we saw ear­lier this year.”

He said it’s “vi­tal that pol­i­cy­mak­ers fo­cus on job cre­ation when de­vel­op­ing the next state bud­get.”

The Gen­eral Assem­bly is ex­pected to vote on a bud­get to­day.

Con­necti­cut and Wis­con­sin are the last two states to pass a 2018 bud­get. Con­necti­cut has been op­er­at­ing un­der an ex­ec­u­tive or­der since July 1.

This story has been mod­i­fied from its orig­i­nal ver­sion. To view the orig­i­nal, visit ctnewsjunkie.com.

CT DEPT. OF LA­BOR

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