State adds 4,100 jobs in May; unemployment rate unchanged

State adds 4,100 jobs in May; unemployment rate unchanged

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Connecticut added 4,100 jobs in May, reversing a decline in jobs over the prior two months, according to a Department of Labor report Thursday. 

The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.5 percent, but last month’s growth means Connecticut’s economy has now added 11,500 jobs over the last 12 months. 

“May’s increase of 4,100 jobs overcame most of the decline we saw in March and April,” said Andy Condon, director of the DOL’s research office.  “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.” 

The report did revise April’s figures to include the loss of an additional 500 jobs, totaling 1,900 jobs lost in that month. 

The report said that private sector jobs grew by 4,300 jobs in May, while the public sector shed another 200 positions. 

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement that Thursday’s monthly report shows that the “investments and efforts we have made to retain and grow private sector jobs while simultaneously shrinking the size of government are paying off” for the state’s economy. 

“Today’s job numbers demonstrate that Connecticut has more private sector jobs than we did before the Great Recession,” Malloy said. “It also reflects the fact that government is smaller today than when I took office — just as I promised to do eight years ago.”

Malloy said the state workforce, excluding higher education, has shrunk by 13 percent since 2011, with much of that reduction coming through attrition. He also said that the state’s workforce is at its lowest since 1960.

The private sector has gained 114,300 jobs since the 2008 recession, or 102.3 percent of those lost during the downturn. The public sector, meanwhile, has recovered 96,500 jobs, or 81 percent of those lost.

Trade, transportation and utilities saw the largest gain, adding 2,600 jobs. Other sectors with growth include other services, 1,000 jobs; the education and health services and the leisure and hospitality sectors, with 500 jobs each; and financial services, with 400 jobs. 

Manufacturing remained unchanged, but mining and construction lost 300 jobs, and the professional and business services and information sectors lost 200 jobs each.

Even with the growth, Don Klepper-Smith, an adviser to former Gov. M. Jodi Rell, said the state should remain concerned based on 2018 trends. 

“The job data through the first five months of 2018 shows we’ve posted a (year-to-date)  gain of just 0.5 percent, indicating lackluster, fractional growth that’s probably in the fifth quintile of the U.S. rankings,” he said in a statement.


Twitter: @reporter_savino


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