Today's release of the April jobs report brought mixed news for Connecticut's economy, with the state adding 1,200 jobs for the month despite net losses in the private sector.
The state Department of Labor reported gains for a number of industry sectors, led by government, while many sectors showed large losses.
And the state's unemployment rate, while falling one-tenth of a point in April to 6.3%, remains the highest in New England and almost a full point higher than the United States rate (see figure above).
“The pace of recovery was a bit slower than what it has been averaging over the five years,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia.
“While we’re still adding jobs in the state and having the unemployment rate go down, we still have a long way to go to get to full recovery and a pace of recovery that would have the average person feel as though we are doing really well.”
The private sector showed a net decline of 300 jobs in April, with professional and business services (-2,100), leisure and hospitality (-700), and trade, transportation, and utilities (-400) all recording losses.
Government led all sectors in gaining 1,500 positions, followed by manufacturing (1,400), construction and mining (1,300), and education and health services (200).
The financial activities, other services, and Information sector was unchanged for the month.
Manufacturing has now added a net 900 positions over the last 12 months.
The large gain in government jobs was largely attributed to growth at the local government level (1,400) while manufacturing’s durable goods subsector posted a gain of 1,200 jobs.
Connecticut has only recovered 78% of the 119,000 jobs lost during the March 2008-February 2010 economic recession.
The state continues to lag the economic recoveries of the United States (134%) and neighboring Massachusetts (150%).
The labor department did revise its earlier March jobs report lower by 700 jobs, for a gain of 3,300 positions.
Only the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk labor market area saw growth in April (400) while Hartford (-100), New Haven (-300), Norwich-New London-Westerly (-500) recorded job losses.
Norwich and New London, Gioia noted, have continued to lose jobs year-over-year.