December 21, 2018

Patrick J. Flaherty: CT's demographics will stunt economic growth

Patrick J. Flaherty

Patrick J. Flaherty

Assistant Director of Research & Information, Connecticut Department of Labor

Connecticut's economy has been adding jobs since the end of the Great Recession and has more than recovered all of the private-sector jobs lost during the downturn.

The government sector continues to contract and is holding back overall job growth. Despite growth that is slower than the nation and our neighboring states, the unemployment rate has fallen.

In the past year, jobs have increased by more than 22,000 with gains in health care and social assistance, manufacturing, accommodation and food service, construction and finance and insurance. Retail trade, state government and local government have all declined.

Transportation and warehousing also increased, offsetting some of the decrease in retail resulting from changes in shopping patterns as consumers do more shopping online. The increase in manufacturing is a big change for Connecticut, which has seen manufacturing decline for decades.

Looking ahead, recently released projections for employment by industry and occupation show continued growth for Connecticut, but at a slower projected pace than the nation. The slowdown is largely driven by demographics.

Population projections from the Connecticut State Data Center predict a slowdown in Connecticut's population growth. The population is also expected to age, with declines in the school-aged population and increases in the number of people over 65.

Return to HBJ's 2019 economic forecast landing page

What's your 2019 economic outlook for Connecticut?

Moderate growth

How many jobs will Connecticut add?

15,000

What will Connecticut's unemployment rate be at the end of 2019?

4%

What type of GDP growth will Connecticut see in 2019?

1.1%

Which industry will add the most jobs?

Health care & social assistance

Which industry will lose the most jobs?

Retail trade

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