HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut’s manufacturing sector lost 500 jobs in January, but it grew by 6,300 jobs in 2017, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Overall, Connecticut added 3,400 jobs in January, and the adjusted numbers for 2017 show the state gained only 1,800 jobs last year. However, the increase in manufacturing jobs was the first since since 2011, Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research for the Connecticut Labor Department, said.
Including the job growth for January, the private sector has now recovered 100 percent of the jobs it lost in the 2008-2010 recession. The February job numbers will be released later this month.
Pete Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, said even with the revisions to the December job numbers, 2017 represents an improvement over 2016 when the state lost 200 jobs.
Gioia noted that overall, Connecticut employers added a net 5,500 new jobs in 2017. At 0.3 percent, that was the slowest growth of any of the New England states.
“We’re seeing momentum,” Gioia said in a statement. “We still need improvement, but we’re going in the right direction.”
Gioia noted that it marks just the third annual gain for the manufacturing sector over the last 20 years.
While manufacturing remained a bright spot, Don Klepper-Smith, of DataCore Partners, continues to believe Connecticut will see a full-blown domestic recession before it recovers all the jobs it lost during the recession.
Klepper-Smith said the economy has now added 94,800 jobs on a cumulative basis, equating to an average monthly gain of about 1,000 jobs per month.
“This means we’re not likely to see full job recovery until the end of 2019 at the current pace,” Klepper-Smith said.
Klepper-Smith said the January job gains “basically represented a bounce-back of sorts from the labor market sluggishness in 2017” and was “a bit above expectations” given the national gain of 200,000 jobs in January.
Connecticut has now recovered 79.6 percent of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted jobs lost in the “Great Recession.” The job recovery is into its 95th month and the state needs an additional 24,300 jobs to reach an overall nonfarm employment expansion.
The state’s private sector has now recovered 100 percent or 111,700 of the private sector jobs lost in that same employment downturn.
Overall, Connecticut’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.5 percent in January.