Connecticut lost 4,600 jobs in June, according to monthly, seasonally adjusted data from the Department of Labor, where officials suggested that much of the month’s anticipated job growth had occurred during a stronger-than-expected month of May.
Thursday’s report revised those May gains upward slightly from 5,000 to 5,300. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. In a press release, Labor Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo said that strong job growth in May indicated that employers did their hiring early this year.
“The pandemic and recovery have caused some wide swings in monthly data, making economic trends more valuable to forecasting than a single month’s numbers,” Bartolomeo said. “Overall, Connecticut’s economy remains solid and stable with economists monitoring closely for signs of weakening.”
June’s biggest losses occurred in the Leisure and Hospitality sector, which shrunk by 1,700 jobs, the “Other Services” sector, which lost 1,700 jobs, and the Information sector, which shed 1,000 jobs. Those losses, combined with other shrinking sectors, represent the largest monthly decline since April 2020, according to the Labor Department report.
Meanwhile, the state added 1,000 jobs in the Construction and Mining sector, 700 jobs in the Government sector, and 400 manufacturing jobs, according to the report.
In a video posted to the Labor Department’s Youtube channel, Patrick Flaherty, the agency’s director of research and information, said the process of adjusting job numbers for seasonal expectations distorted the data during periods of unusual growth and decline.
“In reality, we live in a not-seasonally adjusted world,” Flaherty said. “So when the seasonal factors expect a big hiring such as of restaurant jobs in June and in fact the numbers remain flat, the seasonal factors turn this into a big drop. However, no one actually lost their job in June in the restaurant industry. They all had been hired in May, earlier than usual.”
In a press release on Thursday, Chris DiPentima, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, called the monthly jobs report “very disappointing, given it erased most of May’s big gains.” DiPentima said that gains reported in the construction and manufacturing fields were largely offset by losses in most other areas.
“The June numbers point to the ongoing volatility in Connecticut’s job market while highlighting the challenges we face with resolving the labor shortage crisis,” DiPentima said.
Connecticut currently has around 90,000 unfilled positions, according to the June Labor Department report. The state has now recovered around 96.4% of the roughly 289,000 jobs lost during the early COVID pandemic in March and April of 2020, the report said.
The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee is expected to meet next week and some members are calling for at least two 25 basis point increases by the end of the year.
Nationally, employment grew by 209,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate was at 3.6%. Employment has grown by an average of 278,000 per month over the first six months
of 2023, lower than the average of 399,000 per month in 2022.