October 20, 2017

New Haven bucks statewide trend, adds jobs in Sept.

FIle Photo
FIle Photo
The New Haven region gained 1,200 jobs in September, bucking a statewide trend.

The New Haven region led the state in job growth last month, adding 1,200 jobs in September and bucking a statewide trend, according to figures released Thursday by the state Department of Labor.

New Haven was the only one of Connecticut's six labor market areas to add jobs in September, with the Hartford, Bridgeport-Stamford and Danbury regions all tallying losses. The number of jobs held steady in both the Waterbury and Norwich-New London markets, the labor department said.

Overall, Connecticut lost 2,000 nonfarm jobs in September, capping a slow third quarter for job growth, said Andy Condon, director of the Department of Labor's Office of Research.

Pete Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the latest report brings the state's total job loss to 7,900 over the last three months, erasing most of the gains from earlier this year.

"We started this year with great momentum, even seeing as much as 11,000-plus job growth year-over-year," Gioia said. "But over the last three months, it's eroded dramatically."

Gioia noted that the job losses coincide with the months the state has gone without a new budget.

"Connecticut's economy is impacted by the instability at the Capitol," Gioia said. "Today's disturbing employment report is a dramatic reminder of that."

Statewide, the private sector lost 1,100 jobs in September, but remains up by 7,100 jobs over a year ago. The government sector, which includes casinos, lost 900 jobs, bringing the total jobs lost to 3,600 for the year, the labor department said.

Among the state's major industry sectors, there were a few bright spots. Professional and business services posted the most job growth, adding 1,100 new jobs, followed by financial activities (900), information (200) and manufacturing (200).

Construction and mining saw the largest loss, dropping 1,400 jobs in September, followed by leisure and hospitality with a loss of 1,200. Education and health care shed 600 jobs while trade, transportation and utilities lost 300.

While Connecticut's unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a point to 4.6 percent, Gioia said that was the result of the state's shrinking labor force.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at news@newhavenbiz.com

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