HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut lost 600 jobs in July though its unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5 percent, according to survey data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
June’s originally-released job gain of 7,000, or 0.4 percent, was revised downward by 1,400 to a 5,600, or 0.3 percent, employment gain in nonfarm employment. The BLS reports that Connecticut had about 1.692 million nonfarm jobs in July.
The number of the state’s unemployed residents fell by 513, while the number of residents employed grew by 776.
“July was a relatively quiet month in Connecticut’s labor markets with both payroll jobs and unemployment statistics changing very little,” said Andy Condon, Director of the Office of Research. “Over the year, payroll job growth in July was 11,600, well ahead of last year’s performance.”
While Condon used the term “quiet,” economic expert Don Klepper-Smith, an economist with DataCore Partners in New Haven, offered a different single-word description of the July report: “Mundane,” was Klepper-Smith’s analysis.
“It was nice to see solid back-to-back gains in monthly job numbers of May and June, but job growth will not be sustainable given present economic and fiscal fundamentals in my opinion,” Klepper-Smith said.
He elaborated: “Bottom line: the aggregate data is now showing that the Connecticut economy is now posting ‘bare minimum growth,’ moving sideways more than anything else, while the risk of recession over the next 12 months is tangible and rising.
“We’re still dealing with the combination of persistent budget problems at the state and local level, waning business confidence, multiple downgrades in the state’s bond rating, a potential bankruptcy within the City of Hartford, and greater levels of overall economic uncertainty, which do not bode well for Connecticut’s job market over the near-term,” Klepper-Smith said.
Private sector employment grew by 300 to 1,459,300 jobs over the month in July, according to the BLS survey, and by 14,700 jobs over the year. The government supersector continued its decline with 900 fewer jobs last month, down to 232,900, and it remains down over the year by a net of 3,100 jobs.
The government supersector, which includes all federal, state, and local employment, including public higher education and Native American casinos located on tribal land, remains the largest source of job losses in 2017.
Five of the 10 major industry supersectors increased employment in July 2017, while five declined:
• Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+2,200 or 0.7 percent to 300,400 jobs) led gaining industries showing strength in both transportation and warehousing (+1,100) and retail (+900).
• Other Services gained 1,000 jobs (up 1.5 percent to 68,800).
• Education & Health Services grew by 800 (up 0.2 percent to 334,000), with most new jobs appearing in health services (+600).
• Financial Activities added 500 jobs (up 0.4 percent to 133,300) in July while the information supersector grew by 100 or 0.3 percent.
• Leisure and Hospitality showed the largest decline in July (-2,000 or 1.2 percent to 159,100), potentially a seasonal adjustment to very large growth in June. The entire decline came from the accommodations & food services component (-2,800 or 2.1 percent). However, Leisure and Hospitality continues to lead all supersectors in job growth over the year (+4,800 or 3.1 percent).
• Construction and Mining shed 1,600 jobs (-2.6 percent to 59,500).
• Government continued to lose jobs in July (-900 or 0.4 percent to 232,900) and it remains the sector with the largest declines over the year, (-3,100, -1.3 percent).
• Professional & Business services dropped 500 jobs in July (-0.2 percent to 215,800).
• Manufacturing was off slightly (-200, -0.1 percent, 156,400).
Connecticut has now recovered 82.3 percent (about 98,000 jobs) of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted jobs lost in the Great Recession from March 2008 to February 2010. The recovery is in its 89th month and the state needs an additional 21,100 jobs to reach an overall nonfarm employment expansion since the recession.
The state’s private sector has fared better, regaining 101 percent, or 112,800, of the 111,700 private sector jobs lost in that same employment downturn. The government supersector has lost a total of 22,200 positions since the recession began in March 2008.