January 25, 2016

CT job growth flat in December; unemployment up

PHOTO | Serge Bertasius Photography via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New statistics released this morning by the state Department of Labor show flat job growth in December. However, unemployment grew by one-tenth of a point.

Connecticut's unemployment rate was calculated at 5.2 percent, for December 2015, seasonally adjusted. This is a one-tenth of a percentage point increase from November's revised rate of 5.1 percent but down 1.1 percentage points from the December 2014 unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as provided by the state Department of Labor, Connecticut has increased nonfarm employment by 22,600 (1.35 percent, about 1,883 jobs per month) over the year with eight job-gaining months and four down months in 2015. The preliminary November 2015 estimated nonfarm employment gain of 5,100 jobs (0.3 percent) was raised to a 5,800 (0.34 percent) job gain for the previous month.

"It looks like Connecticut ended the year with healthy annual job growth across most industry sectors," said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research, in a statement. "However, we now go through an annual benchmark revision process to be released in March to determine if these preliminary estimates hold up."

Condon, in the Hartford Business Journal's Book of Lists for 2015/2016, predicts the unemployment rate will drop to 4.9 percent in 2016. He also sees a net growth of 16,000 jobs with health care and social assistance adding the most jobs.

Connecticut's private sector added 500 jobs in December and has now added 23,000 positions (1.60 percent, about 1,917 jobs per month) over the year to a level of 1,463,400, seasonally adjusted. The government supersector declined 200 jobs in December to a level of 237,300.

Connecticut has now recovered 106,700 positions, or 89.7 percent of the 119,000 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state during the March 2008 - February 2010 employment recession. The state needs to reach the 1,713,000 job level to enter a clear nonfarm employment expansionary phase. This will require an additional 12,300 nonfarm jobs.

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