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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Connecticut’s employment numbers indicate that the state is close to a full economic recovery from the pandemic shutdown in March 2020.

The Connecticut Department of Labor said Thusday that the state has now recovered 91% of the overall jobs lost when the economy shut down in March 2020. Within that figure, the state has recovered 93.2% of the private sector jobs lost to the pandemic shutdown.

“Connecticut’s economy continues to move in the right direction—low unemployment, a strong market for job seekers, and solid job growth trends with 37,000 jobs added so far in 2022,” Labor Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo said. “We will see some standard seasonal fluctuation in the employment rate over the next few months and national concerns about inflation and energy prices are also top issues in Connecticut. State economists expect job growth to stay in positive territory with some months higher than others.”

In November the state posted gains across seven industry sectors and added 6,200 jobs. Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Financial Services sectors lost jobs last month. The unemployment rate also dropped one-tenth of a percent to 4.2%. 

However, the labor force is still smaller than it was prior to the pandemic when it was still struggling to recover all the jobs lost during the Great Recession. 

“Economic recoveries are uneven—some months are great, others less so,” CTDOL Director of Research Patrick Flaherty said. “For Connecticut, November is right in the middle. Job growth was solid, the unemployment rate is low and stable, but employers are still challenged by a smaller labor force and that’s showing in the data.”

So far this year, Connecticut’s labor force has expanded by 45,000 workers. The state’s workforce participation rate is 64.3% or 2.2% higher than the national average.

While the private sector is doing well the government sector has only recovered 65.7% of the jobs from the bottom reached in April 2020. 

However, last month local government employment increased by 3,100 employees. Some of the increase, according to the Labor Department, is due to the temporary poll workers hired for the election. The same thing happened back in 2016.