State la­bor mar­ket bounced back in May, added 4,100 jobs.

Gov. Mal­loy hails monthly re­port

The Day - - REGION - By BRIAN HALLENBECK Day Staff Writer b.hallenbeck@the­

Af­ter two months of sharp em­ploy­ment de­clines, Con­necti­cut added an es­ti­mated 4,100 jobs in May, the state Depart­ment of La­bor re­ported Thursday.

The gains par­tially were off­set by re­vised num­bers for April, dur­ing which an es­ti­mated 1,900 jobs were lost — 500 more than pre­vi­ously re­ported. Some 3,500 jobs were lost in March.

Con­necti­cut’s un­em­ploy­ment rate re­mained at 4.5 per­cent in May, un­changed from the pre­vi­ous month and down two-tenths of a per­cent­age point from a year ago. Na­tion­ally, May’s job­less rate was 3.8 per­cent, down from 3.9 per­cent in April.

“May’s in­crease of 4,100 jobs over­came most of the decline we saw in March and April,” Andy Con­don, di­rec­tor of the la­bor depart­ment’s Of­fice of Re­search, said in a state­ment. “There was sur­pris­ing strength in re­tail trade and a good show­ing for fi­nan­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, both of which are now ahead of last year’s pace.”

Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy hailed the monthly la­bor re­port soon af­ter its re­lease.

“The in­vest­ments and ef­forts we have made to re­tain and grow pri­vate sec­tor jobs while si­mul­ta­ne­ously shrink­ing the size of gov­ern­ment are pay­ing off,” he said in a state­ment. “To­day’s job num­bers demon­strate that Con­necti­cut has more pri­vate sec­tor jobs than we did be­fore the Great Re­ces­sion. It also re­flects the fact that gov­ern­ment is smaller to­day than when I took of­fice — just as I promised to do eight years ago.”

Ex­clud­ing higher education, the state work­force is 13 per­cent smaller to­day than when Mal­loy took of­fice in 2011, the gov­er­nor’s of­fice said.

Don­ald Klep­per-Smith, chief econ­o­mist and di­rec­tor of re­search for DataCore Part­ners, char­ac­ter­ized the May jobs re­port as “a pos­i­tive step in the right di­rec­tion” and “pretty en­cour­ag­ing.”

“My strong sense is that em­ploy­ers will con­tinue to add jobs through the bal­ance of 2018, but only on a se­lec­tive ba­sis where they can add to bot­tom line pro­duc­tiv­ity or prof­itabil­ity,” Klep­per-Smith wrote in his on­line news­let­ter. “The May data for CT rep­re­sents a (year-over-year) gain of 11,500 jobs, or 0.7 per­cent. CT’s la­bor mar­kets still con­tinue to un­der­per­form in the larger con­text. In a few words: ‘A la­bor mar­ket that is mov­ing side­ways more than any­thing else.’”

The la­bor depart­ment re­ported that pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ment grew by 4,300 jobs in May while the gov­ern­ment “su­per­sec­tor” — all fed­eral, state and lo­cal em­ploy­ment, in­clud­ing pub­lic higher education and Na­tive Amer­i­can casino em­ploy­ment on tribal land — lost 200 po­si­tions.

Over­all, five of the 10 ma­jor in­dus­try sec­tors gained em­ploy­ment while four de­clined. Man­u­fac­tur­ing em­ploy­ment was un­changed. The trade, trans­porta­tion and util­i­ties sec­tor added 2,600 jobs, the most of any sec­tor.

Five of the state’s six La­bor Mar­ket Ar­eas posted job gains in May, led by the Har­ford area, which added 900 new po­si­tions. The Nor­wich-New Lon­don-West­erly area added 600 jobs.

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