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

After 11 consecutive months of steady employment gains, Connecticut saw a sudden reversal of fortune in December with a loss of about 1,600 jobs. 

“As expected given action by the Federal Reserve, we saw Connecticut numbers moderate in December,” Connecticut Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo said. “In 2022, Connecticut added jobs faster than any year since 1996—this strong growth created a historically high number of jobs available in the state and, with low unemployment, employers continue to be challenged by a smaller workforce. U.S. Treasury economic priorities and inflation are among the issues that we’re watching going into 2023.”

Connecticut’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.2%, but the state still has more than 100,000 job openings. 

“The pace of Connecticut’s job growth is simply not meeting the demands of our economy,” CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima said. “At 2%, our 2022 job growth rate is one of the region’s slowest and trails the national rate by a full percentage point, while our pandemic recovery rate is 89%, well behind the U.S. at 106%.”

Only five of the 10 industry groups added jobs in December. 

“December was a complex month with Connecticut impacted by national issues including inflation and energy costs,” CTDOL Director of Research Patrick Flaherty said. “Despite revisions, 2022 was a strong year for the state with the addition of 32,000 jobs, a declining unemployment rate, and total recovery of key industry sectors. As we look ahead to 2023, we expect to see strong growth in manufacturing and construction industry jobs due to state and federal infrastructure priorities such as transportation improvements and housing expansion.”

But Connecticut’s largest business lobby said that growth can only happen if Connecticut grows its workforce. 

“Our workforce development efforts must go beyond skills training and encouraging people to rejoin the labor force—it’s critical that we also focus on attracting more people to Connecticut,” DiPentima said.