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March 26, 2020

CT adds 4K jobs in Feb. as unemployment claims surge during COVID-19 outbreak

Connecticut’s economy added 4,000 net jobs in February, state labor officials said Thursday, a day after the agency announced that more than 100,000 new unemployment claims had been filed in the last week due to COVID-19 business closings.

The state Department of Labor (DOL), however, said the state’s unemployment population rose by 400 individuals last month compared to the January level, increasing the state’s unemployment rate one-tenth of a percent to 3.8%.

DOL on Thursday also said it revised January’s previously-released job gain of 2,600 upward to a gain of 3,300.

Also on March 13, DOL reported that an annual revision of the state’s 2019 jobs picture showed a major change from a gain of 7,400 jobs to a 3,300 loss. That reduced Connecticut’s 2019 jobs estimate by six-tenths of a percent.

February’s unemployment report is a bit of good news for the state, but it likely won’t last as many “non-essential” businesses in Connecticut have been ordered by Gov. Ned Lamont to shut down in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, with the impact of the spread of the COVID-19 virus we can expect payroll jobs to decline as a result of sharply increased layoffs and furloughs,” said Andy Condon, who leads the agency’s Office of Research.

In February, private sector employment increased by 0.2% over the month to 1,463,000 jobs. The government supersector added another 700 jobs last month for a total of 237,500.

All but two of the top 10 major industry supersectors gained jobs in February. 

The leisure and hospitality supersector (1.4% increase) led gains with an increase of 2,200 net new jobs. Education and health services (0.5%) trailed with 1,800 new positions. Meantime, manufacturing added 900 jobs and “other services” gained 600.

Declines were led by the trade, transportation and utilities (0.8% decline) sector, which shed 2,300 net jobs in February. The professional and business services sector lost another 800 jobs.

The New Haven region led gains with 1,800 new jobs and the Hartford region added 1,300.

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