After more than three years, Connecticut’s private sector has gained 267,700 jobs since April 2020, fully recovering — and eclipsing — the 266,000 jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) latest jobs report.
Meanwhile, the state also added 2,100 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.6%, below the national average of 3.8%. DOL Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo expressed a tempered positivity, saying that while “Connecticut’s economy has shown resilience and strength in recovery” employers are “still constrained by the tight labor market” and that the “inability to hire may curtail growth and expansion.”
Patrick Flaherty, the director of research for DOL, was more optimistic, suggesting that Connecticut is “reaching a new normal with sustained low unemployment rates and steady monthly job growth,” adding that “With job gains across a diverse range of industries, Connecticut is well-positioned to weather ongoing pressure from inflation and interest rates.”
Driving the growth this past month were increases in six of 10 industry supersectors in Connecticut, including Educational and Health Services (+800); Professional and Business Services (+700); Construction and Mining (+500); Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+500); Manufacturing (+400); Information (+200). The report highlighted that construction is at “its highest level since October 2008.”
On the flipside, the gains reported in July were revised from 2,900 to 1,900; meanwhile, the four industries that experienced losses were Other Services (-400); Leisure and Hospitality (-300); Financial Activities (-200); and Government (-100).
Currently, Connecticut has about 25,000 weekly unemployment filers. Job openings remain high with 77,000 jobs posted; down from a pandemic high of 120,000 jobs.
This latest report, however, comes nearly a week after Frontier Communications officially announced it will be moving its corporate headquarters from Norwalk to Dallas, Texas. It was also recently reported that Norwalk will lose Campbell Soup Company’s corporate office — that now employs 154 people — when it consolidates into its headquarters in Camden, N.J. The company told the DOL that 76 jobs will be affected. Additionally, more job losses are looming on the horizon for Norwalk and across the state. According to the DOL, Walmart’s Norwalk location will lay off 255 employees by December, while more than 500 employees of Hartford’s CVS Health will be laid off by year’s end.
How these losses will impact the economy’s gains is uncertain, but at least, for now, Connecticut has put the pandemic economic shutdown in the rear-view mirror.