The state gained 1,500 jobs in October, nearly covering September’s loss of 1,400 jobs and leaving the state’s unemployment rate at 4.2 percent, according to a state Department of Labor report released Thursday.
"A relatively quiet month in October offset losses we experienced in September," said Andy Condon, director of DOL’s office of research. "Most employment supersectors are showing annual growth with the exception of the trade, information and government supersectors."
In a statement, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy pointed out that private sector jobs this October are up from October 2017. This represents the 99th consecutive month where monthly private sector job numbers exceeded the numbers in the same month in the previous year.
“Over the past year, Connecticut has created more than 25,000 private sector jobs, and we now have the most private sector jobs in state history,” Malloy said in the statement. “While month-to-month employment numbers will fluctuate, we should be encouraged that the long-term trend shows steady growth. The work we have done over the past eight years, including partnerships with large and small employers across the state, is paying off.”
The jobs report follows a DOL report earlier this month showing slight improvement in the state’s economy. State economists had mixed reactions to Thursday’s job news.
Pete Gioia, senior economist at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said that the October employment report highlights the importance of addressing the challenges impacting the state’s economy,
“It’s a modest monthly gain which fully offsets the losses for September,” Gioia said in a statement.
Based on year-over-year employment trends, Connecticut is poised for what could be the state’s strongest annual job growth in more than three decades, he said.
“The year-over-year numbers are starting to become fairly impressive,” he said.
Gioia said the new administration and General Assembly can drive continued growth by focusing on the state’s key economic challenges, including restoring fiscal stability and supporting workforce development initiatives.
“The important thing right now is for policymakers to do things that will continue this growth and, if possible, accelerate it and not do damage,” he said.
But Donald Klepper-Smith of DataCore Partners, shared a different take on the numbers particularly when coupled with a recent state gross domestic product report reflecting a 9.2 percent decline over the last 10 years.
“The very weak real GDP data says the state now needs to completely reassess their core economic development initiatives because the state’s economy simply isn’t growing,” Klepper-Smith said in a statement to clients. “It has actually contracted by 9 percent between 2007 and 2017.”
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