Looking for work post-pandemic. (fizkes via Shutterstock)

Connecticut added more jobs in October and September, but a recent study found it’s one of eight states with more unemployed workers than job openings. 

According to an analysis by Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts: Connecticut, Hawaii, California, New York, Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey and Nevada have more unemployed workers than job openings. 

The ratio of jobs-to-jobless is almost 3 to 1 in Nebraska and more than 2 to 1 in Utah, New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, Georgia, Alabama and Montana. In most states, the ratio is higher now than it was before the pandemic, according to Stateline

On Thursday, Connecticut’s official unemployment rate dropped from 6.8% in September to 6.4% in October. September’s job growth, originally estimated at 4,700 new positions, was revised up to 6,500.

“Both the job numbers and the unemployment rate continue to move in the right direction,” Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo said. “The jobs numbers especially give us a reason to be optimistic that these trends will carry through the rest of 2021. 

Connecticut has now regained 72.8% of the 292,400 jobs lost during the COVID-19 shutdowns of March and April 2020. But even before the pandemic it had not recovered the jobs lost during the Great Recession. 

Connecticut continues to trail the national unemployment rate, which fell to 4.6% in October.

“While it is heartening to see another month of employment gains, the pace of Connecticut’s jobs recovery relative to the region and the country remains a concern,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said.

“The financial activities sector’s strong gains were a real highlight for the month—that’s a key component of the state’s economy and is one of just two sectors still below pre-pandemic employment levels,” he said. “However, manufacturing lost 300 jobs, with most of those in aerospace, a reflection of the pandemic’s continued impact on commercial aviation.” 

DiPentima pointed out that “Connecticut’s year-to-date job growth is now at 2.9%, still well below the national rate of 4.1% and second slowest in the region.”

The data has business groups and lawmakers scratching their heads. 

“There are 79,500 fewer people working now than in February of last year, despite something on the order of 70,000 job openings—the question is this: ‘where have these people gone?,” DiPentima said.