Connecticut’s Labor Department announced both good and bad employment news in a Thursday report which estimated the state added around 3,200 jobs in the month of September while revisions to August estimates virtually eliminated job growth announced last month.
The September report found Connecticut’s unemployment rate ticked down by 0.1% to 3.5% — a fraction of a point lower than the national 3.8% average — while 2,500 new jobs in the government sector and 1,100 new jobs in other services helped push the state’s overall payroll jobs up by 3,200.
“Connecticut employers continue to add jobs—they are only constrained by the tight labor market,” Labor Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo said in a press release. “While the labor force increased last month, businesses across the state are still looking to fill tens of thousands of jobs across industry sectors and at all skill levels.”
However, growth in September was tempered by downward revisions in August, when last month’s report initially estimated that Connecticut had added 2,100 jobs. Thursday’s update revised that August growth to just 100 additional jobs. The changes also revised August’s unemployment rate from 3.6% to 3.5%.
In a short video posted to the Labor Department’s YouTube page, Patrick Flaherty, the agency’s director of research and information, said the revisions were due in part to back-to-school labor changes.
“The August to September swing was driven by the difficulty in adjusting the data for the timing of school openings,” Flaherty said. “August’s total employment growth had previously been reported as a 2,100 gain, with government down 100 jobs. Revised figures show government down 1,300 jobs in August but up by 2,500 in September with most of the August revision due to local government education.”
In addition to growth in the government and other services sectors, the department reported that the state added 900 manufacturing jobs in September along with 700 jobs in the educational and health services sector.
Meanwhile, Connecticut lost 1,200 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector as well as 900 jobs in the construction and mining sector.
In a press release Thursday, Chris DiPentima, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the downward revisions to the August numbers highlighted the ongoing volatility in Connecticut’s job market.
However, DiPentima said September’s numbers were a positive sign in a market where employers continue to face labor shortages.
“Connecticut has 96,000 job openings—essentially 1.5 jobs for every unemployed person in the state,” DiPentima said. “We have the jobs—what’s needed are the people to fill those jobs as the labor shortage remains the biggest hurdle to economic growth.”
In a press release, Bartolomeo, the state labor commissioner, reminded residents that October is Disability Employment Awareness Month a “great time to highlight the untapped potential in workers with different abilities, a community that often has difficulty breaking into the job market.”