July 20, 2018

State gains 6,100 jobs in June

Connecticut employers added 6,100 new jobs in June, paced by gains in manufacturing and construction. The unemployment rate eased to 4.4 percent, state labor authorities say.

The state's preliminary estimate, announced Thursday for last month, counted 1,698,800 nonfarming jobs, a 0.9 percent gain from the jobs-count in June 2018, the state Department of Labor said. The agency also revised upward by 2,000, to 6,100, the count of jobs the state added in May, following on losses in April and March.

Unemployment in the state was 4.5 percent in May and 4.7 percent in June 2017.

"June's increase of 6,100 jobs overcame the entire decline we saw in March and April," said Andy Condon, DOL's research director. "Our three-month average job growth has once again turned positive. The seasonally adjusted year-over-year job gain of nearly 15,000 jobs is very encouraging, but this number can be volatile. Our average annual gain for the last 12 months is 5,300, still ahead of last year's pace. Construction and manufacturing are now the fastest growing sectors in the state's labor market – a very good sign."

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy hailed the latest state jobs report as further evidence that Connecticut's job-creation efforts are gaining more traction.

"Our efforts to create jobs and economic opportunities are working," Malloy said in a statement. "Over the past two months, Connecticut has added more than 12,000 jobs. ... Coming on the heels of announcements by major companies that they will relocate to and expand in Connecticut, this jobs report is proof that we are moving in the right direction."

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association cited the higher job count as a positive, as well. However, Pete Gioia, who is retiring as CBIA economist, sounded a cautionary tone, noting Connecticut's 4.4 percent jobless rate is still the highest in New England.

"We had a very strong jobs report last June, but then we saw big losses in the second part of the year," Gioia said in a statement.

Other concerns include the shrinking labor force, which will put pressure on the state's ability to sustain job growth, Gioia said.

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