Connecticut added 1,100 private sector jobs while losing 600 government jobs in October, according to monthly statistics released Thursday by the Labor Department which reported a modest net uptick that continues a 10-month streak of job growth.
The report contained tepid good news on the state’s employment situation. The net 500-job increase accompanied a slight downward revision to September’s job growth numbers, correcting that month’s initial report of 4,400 added jobs to 4,300.
Thursday’s update also observed a minor increase in Connecticut’s unemployment rate, which grew from 4% in September to 4.3% in October. In a press release, Labor Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo said the report showed indicators of a strong underlying economy.
“Some months are stronger than others, and Connecticut employers continued to add jobs in October, which is good news for job seekers,” Bartolomeo said. “The change of seasons also brings employment changes, and we expect normal holiday fluctuations in the coming months. National challenges around inflation and interest rates are issues for Connecticut as well, and something economists continue to keep their eyes on.”
According to the report, Connecticut had recovered 89.4% of the 289,400 jobs lost during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. In October, the state experienced the most growth — 1,500 jobs — in its leisure & hospitality sector, the sector most devastated by the pandemic. It lost the most jobs — 1,100 — in its professional & business services sector.
Patrick Flaherty, director of research at the Labor Department, said the continued net job growth represented good progress. Flaherty said the cooling observed in October’s numbers corresponded with a similar trend last year.
“In 2021, employers were still adding jobs at the end of the year, although the numbers had slowed,” Flaherty said. “Connecticut may see a similar pattern in 2022, however, there are about 100,000 jobs posted now and that is quite high. The labor market is tight and employers are competing for workers.”
In a press release, Chris DiPentima, president of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the month of slow job growth continued a positive trend. However, DiPentima also worried about labor shortages.
“With 114,000 job openings in Connecticut, the labor crisis remains the biggest obstacle to our economy reaching its full potential,” DiPentima said. “We must embrace all potential solutions for solving this crisis, an issue that we expect will be a key focus of the General Assembly when it convenes in January.”