Connecticut lost 6,600 jobs in October according to preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The numbers for September were adjusted as well. It was originally reported that Connecticut lost 2,000 jobs, but it was revised to a gain of 300 jobs for the month.
This means Connecticut has lost jobs three out of the last four months.
“October’s decline of 6,600 seasonally adjusted payroll jobs is not good news, but it is not as bad as it appears,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research, said. “Nearly half the decline comes from the very seasonal leisure & hospitality sector. This loss is exaggerated because the very high summer peak season employment levels were well ahead of last year. In the fall, employment levels returned to a more typical pattern, making recent job losses appear extreme. On an annual average basis, Connecticut’s leisure & hospitality employment levels are well ahead of last year.”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wasn’t concerned about the numbers. He said there are always seasonal adjustments to be made. He said the fact that the state hasn’t had a Bond Commission meeting due to the four month budget stalemate also slowed down certain types of employment, such as construction jobs.
Malloy said the government is no longer seasonally adjusting its numbers, so they may seem inflated slightly due to changes in Connecticut hospitality employment.
“We’re also going to live for a time with the results of the legislature not having produced a timely budget,” Malloy said Thursday.
He said there are several factors at play in Thursday’s report on job losses, “but unemployment is down.”
Unemployment is at 4.5 percent, according to the report.
However, that’s not the number economists are focusing on. They’re focused on the fact that Connecticut has lost 12,200 jobs since June.
“This month-after-month decline indicates a very troubling trend,” Connecticut Business and Industry Association Economist Pete Gioia said.
He added that “Connecticut has recovered just 73 percent of all jobs lost during the recession. While the private sector is performing better, regaining 92 percent, it has shrunk since crossing the 100 percent milestone in June.”
It means that Connecticut has now added just 86,400 jobs on a cumulative basis since early 2010 — an average monthly gain of about 940 jobs per month.
“This means we’re presently 32,700 jobs away from attaining full job recovery,” Donald Klepper-Smith, an economist with DataCore Partners, said.
He added that it’s the first time that full job recovery from the recession is not likely until 2020, which means “we’re more apt to see the onset of a full-blown domestic recession before that time.”
Klepper-Smith said the October job losses “imply that the state budget just passed is likely to become more problematic in coming months, speaking to dysfunction within Connecticut’s current array of economic development strategies. The state’s labor markets are now headed in the wrong direction due to a host of factors and will be closely watched in coming months.”
Further, in October Klepper-Smith panned the state’s economy and suggested that the last 20 years of “disregard for taxpayer well-being has finally got us to a tipping point.”
This point has often been highlighted by another Connecticut economist, UConn’s Fred Carstensen, who has frequently suggested that the state should be basing its analysis on a longer frame of reference than just back to the recession of 2008.
In August 2016, Carstensen said that Connecticut’s core problem was the absence of job creation dating back to 1989, adding that since February 1989 the state had seen only 11 months in which total employment exceeded the previous high.
It should also be noted that the monthly data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is based on a sampling, rather than an actual count of jobs. According to CTNewsJunkie’s analysis of the data in these monthly reports, the employment figures reported each month based on sampling during 2016 were overestimated by an average of 5,425 jobs per month.