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Private and Public Jobs Recovery Suffers Setback, Still Short of Pre-Pandemic Totals

While the three-year low unemployment rate at 3.7% remained “unchanged,” the private and public sectors suffered a setback last month in the amount of jobs recovered since the pandemic, according to a new Department of Labor (DOL) report.  

A July 20 press release confirmed Connecticut lost 4,600 jobs in June, while May’s “stronger than usual” numbers were revised up to 5,300 jobs gained — 3,000 more than initially reported. The losses in June, however, dropped the private and public sectors recovery rate from 99.9% to 98.1%, and 97.9% to 96.4%, respectively.  

As of today, the arts, entertainment, recreation and construction are fully recovered, but the private sector would need to add 5,100 jobs to reach February 2020 levels.  

This discouraging reversal again demonstrates how the state continues to lag the rest of the nation, which surpassed its pre-pandemic job totals last summer. Meanwhile, DOL Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo assured that, despite the June decrease, “Overall, Connecticut’s economy remains solid and stable with economists monitoring closely for signs of weakening.” 

Addressing the disparity between the May increase and June dip, Patrick Flaherty — director of the DOL’s Office of Research — stated, “Industries with the largest (seasonally adjusted) June losses had large May gains suggesting summer hiring took place earlier in 2023 than in previous years.” 

“Accommodation & Food Services saw a hiring bump in May as restaurants and hotels brought on staff to meet tourism demand, hiring they would normally do in June,” he added.  

Yet it was not all bad news for every supersector, three of which increased employment in June, including: Construction and Mining (+1,000), Government (+700) and Manufacturing (+400).  

However, the majority experienced losses: Other Services (-1,700), Leisure and Hospitality (-1,700), Information (-1,000), Financial Activities (-900), Educational and Health Services (-700), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-600) and Professional and Business Services (-100).  

Despite the decrease, Connecticut has reportedly gained 14,100 jobs in 2023, which is “more jobs than added in the first six months of any pre-pandemic year since 2006.” But the report also revealed that ‘Finance’ has “lost more than 7,000 jobs since March 2020,” and there are nearly 90,000 jobs available in the state.  

Andrew Fowler

Andrew Fowler joined Yankee Institute in July 2022 after four years in the communications department for the Knights of Columbus international headquarters in New Haven. In that span, he managed the organization’s social media accounts and wrote for the company’s various publications, including COLUMBIA magazine, which is delivered to nearly two million members. Additionally, he is the curator of the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center’s online exhibit “K of C Baseball: An American Story,” that explores the intricate ties between the organization and the growth of the national pastime. He was also a production assistant for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and the 2016 Dinesh D’Souza film, “Hillary’s America.” Andrew currently serves on the Milford Board of Education. He is an avid runner and basketball fan, cinephile, and an aspiring musician and author. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2015.

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