Connecticut added 600 jobs in December 2021, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor. This is the 12th month of job growth but the lowest in the past few months. 

“Job growth slowed at the end of 2021 but continued to add to the very strong gains from earlier in the year,” Patrick Flaherty, director of the Office of Research, said. “Usually warm weather during the survey week may have affected some usual winter activities.” 

The unemployment rate also fell in December to 5.8% from November’s 6%. 

“Connecticut continued to add jobs and the labor force grew in December—both positive signs and indicators of the underlying strength of our economy,” Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo said. “Omicron has impacted the economy here and nationally; it’s critical that residents continue to take every precaution against COVID-19 and variants. When we look at overall trends, Connecticut’s economy is headed in the right direction, but economic growth requires a healthy and strong workforce.”

This was the last jobs report of 2021. 

The January and February numbers won’t be released until March. 

“The addition of 51,000 jobs in 2021 is welcome news, although the anemic pace of our jobs recovery remains a major concern and must be addressed as a top priority,”  CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said.

But Connecticut’s growth was the slowest in New England. 

“Massachusetts, for instance, posted 6.6% job growth last year while Rhode Island was at 6.1%,” DiPentima said. We’ve now recovered 75% of the historic 292,400 jobs lost to COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions, second slowest in the region, with the U.S. at 84%.” 

There are still 74,300 fewer people working today than in February 2020 and there are 70,000 job openings, which means the labor force is still down 5% from pre-pandemic levels. 

“Eighty percent of employers report difficulty finding and retaining workers. The labor shortage represents the greatest threat to Connecticut’s economic recovery and long-term growth,” DiPentima said.