HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut gained 6,700 jobs in May, according to preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a sharp increase over last month when the state lost 3,100 jobs.
The unemployment rate for May remained unchanged at 4.9 percent, about four tenths of a point lower than it was a year ago.
“Job growth through May is far ahead of last year’s pace,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research, said. “Our unemployment data continues to show growth in the labor force indicating that workers are entering or rejoining the labor force and most are finding employment.”
Government sector employment, which includes local, state, federal and employment at the two tribal casinos, improved slightly by 700 jobs last month, but remains the largest overall source of job losses in 2017. The private sector grew by 6,000 jobs in May.
Overall, the state has now recovered 79 percent of the jobs it lost during the Great Recession. Job recovery is into its 87th month, but the state still needs to add 25,000 jobs to reach an employment expansion.
The state’s private sector has recovered almost 96.6 percent of the jobs lost during that same downturn. Just 3,800 jobs are needed to consider the private sector fully recovered. The government supersector has lost a total of 21,200 positions since the recession began in March 2008.
Seven of the 10 major industry supersectors grew jobs in May 2017 while three declined.
The largest growth was in the private education and health services supersector which grew 3,200 jobs in May. Manufacturing lost 900 jobs in May, followed by construction and mining and information services.
Don Klepper-Smith, an economist with DataCore Partners, said despite the uptick in jobs in May it still looks as if Connecticut won’t fully recover until 2019 and “we’re more apt to see the onset of a full-blown domestic recession before that time.”
Basically, “one month of data does not a trend make,” Klepper-Smith said.
He said the state has still lost jobs in four of the last eight months, which means so far this year the state has only seen a 0.3 percent job gain.
Klepper-Smith pointed out that monthly job numbers may not tell the entire story.
According to CTNewsJunkie’s analysis of the employment data, the employment figures reported each month based on sampling during 2016 were overestimated by an average of 5,425 jobs per month.
This is an improvement, with respect to accuracy, over 2015. During that year, the DOL’s monthly sampling figures overestimated state employment by a monthly average of 19,342 jobs. The overestimation was lower for 2014, during which the average was 3,500 higher than the revised figures released the following March.
In 2013, the BLS underestimated job numbers by an average of 5,433 per month.