American Jobs Center
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysieiwicz and Acting Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo at the American Jobs Center in Hartford. Credit: Christine Stuart / CTNewsJunkie

The state of Connecticut added 11,100 jobs in July and 3,300 jobs in August, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

That means Connecticut has added jobs consecutively for eight months. The state’s unemployment rate remains around 7.2%. 

“These numbers are good and going in the right direction, especially the July job data that set another high bar for job growth,” Interim Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo said. “In large part, these positive economic trends are because Connecticut’s leadership and residents are taking COVID-19 seriously.”

Economist Patrick Flaherty, Director of the CTDOL Office of Research said, the 3,300 jobs in August was a bit slower than the job growth they saw in July. 

However, he said the August gains were broad based. 

“The pandemic recession behaves differently than other recessions,” Flaherty said. “During the Great Recession we had a steady decline in economic activity—jobs were lost over months and took years to recover. During the pandemic, the economy just dropped off a cliff—jobs were gone overnight, but we are showing faster recovery growth as well.”

The additional federal unemployment benefits ended on Sept. 4 and was expected to drive more people into the workforce. 

“Many workers are taking advantage of the current market to find new jobs; the quit rate is at a record high,” Flaherty said. “People are voluntarily leaving their jobs for other opportunities, something we didn’t see during the Great Recession recovery.”

Connecticut still has a long way to go.

“We’ve now recovered 69% of the 292,400 jobs lost to COVID shutdowns and restrictions, with key sectors like manufacturing, professional and business services, and financial activities posting gains last month,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said .

“However, employers are faced with a frustrating riddle. We have a record number of unfilled job openings, yet there are 91,000 fewer people working than in February last year and the unemployment rate is two percentage points higher than the national average,” he said.

He said employers are trying to get people back to work with incentives, but only making incremental gains.

“While the country is on track to recover all COVID job losses in nine months, Connecticut is looking at 21 months to regain those jobs,” he said. “We cannot rebuild Connecticut’s economy without solving this problem, which will require a broad, collaborative approach between the private and public sectors.”