Connecticut’s job growth in 2019 was dead last in the country and only 48th since 2010, according to Connecticut Department of Labor report released on election day.
According to the Connecticut Economic Digest, “Idaho, Arizona, and Utah were the top job growth states, while Connecticut ranked 50th in 2019. Connecticut and West Virginia were the only two states to lose jobs over the year.”
The report also found that Connecticut was dead-last in the country for wage growth between 2010 and 2019, although last year saw Connecticut placed 35th in the country for wage growth.
Connecticut now has the 5th highest average wage in the country at $68,507, behind Massachusetts, New York, California and Washington D.C.
The report in the Economic Digest measured state economic indexes for all fifty states between 2010 and 2019 based on number of business establishments, total employment, wage growth and unemployment.
Although Connecticut was last or near-last regarding job and wage growth, the report placed Connecticut 32nd overall in the country for the year of 2019, “the best ranking in nine years,” according to the report.
Connecticut was bolstered by growth in the number of business establishments, which ranked 25th, and its unemployment rate which matched the national average.
However, the report does not account for 2020, which has proved disastrous for many businesses, employment and wage growth across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The SEI for 2019 gives us a picture of economic performance of the states prior to the pandemic which is causing so much change in 2020,” the report concludes. “Next year, when we look at the 2020 index we will be able to see how those changes affected establishments, employment, earnings and unemployment in each of the states and the country.”
At the height of the pandemic in Connecticut, roughly 36,000 businesses were forced to temporarily close their doors the public and well over 700,000 people filed for unemployment.
Although jobs in Connecticut began to recover over the months of August and September, Connecticut still had 103,200 fewer jobs in September than it had in February of 2020 and 120,900 fewer jobs than it had in 2008 before the recession.
Connecticut was one of the only states in the country not to recover from the 2008 recession and full recovery may be a long way off amidst the pandemic.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Connecticut will increase restrictions on “non-essential” businesses in response to increasing coronavirus positivity rates, which could also put further strain on businesses like restaurants, event venues and job recovery.
According to the Department of Labor’s report, Connecticut’s economic index increased 44.2 percent since 2010, while the rest of the nation increased 53.4 percent during one of the most prolonged economic upswings in U.S. history since WWII.
Among the nine listed states in the Northeast Connecticut also performed poorly, besting only New York and Pennsylvania in overall economic growth.