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March 24, 2022

CT added 6,300 jobs in Feb., jobless rate down to 4.9%

HBJ File Photo

Connecticut added 6,300 jobs in February, dropping the state’s official unemployment rate from 5.3% to 4.9%.

The state Labor Department, which released the latest data Thursday, also revised January job numbers from a loss of 700 positions to a gain of 600, creating a slightly better picture for a month in which a resurgent COVID-19 kept many people out of work.

“There is no doubt that the [COVID-19] omicron variant slowed the state’s economy in December and January,” said Labor Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo. “Now that Omicron has subsided, we are once again seeing strong numbers across multiple economic indicators — the unemployment rate is below 5%, jobs are being added, and unemployment claims are down. Additionally, there’s a lot of industry diversity in terms of job growth; companies across sectors are adding employees and that’s good news.”

The healthcare sector led the way in job gains, adding 2,500 positions, followed by retail (+2,400) and wholesale trade (+1,800).

The manufacturing, finance, hospitality and information industries turned in more modest gains, while the professional services, government and construction sectors lost ground.

Connecticut has now recovered 233,100, or 80.5%, of the 289,400 positions lost during the COVID-19 lockdowns of March and April 2020.

The Labor Department cautioned that February’s numbers do not take into account the possible economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which started late that month. Energy market disruptions, and higher energy prices generally, are likely already having a negative impact on consumers, the transportation sector and statewide economic growth prospects, department officials said.

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