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April 16, 2020

CT shed 7,600 jobs in the first two weeks of March

Photo | CT Mirror DOL Deputy Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski, left, and Commissioner Kurt Westby.

Connecticut employers shed 7,600 net jobs in the first half of March, just as the COVID-19 coronavirus began to rapidly spread across the state, according to state labor officials.

The state Department of Labor on Thursday said the job losses were recorded in the first two weeks of March, just days before the agency recorded a significant spike in layoffs and unemployment insurance claims due to business shutdowns caused by the global pandemic.

DOL on Thursday, citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), said February’s previously-released job gain of 4,000 was revised downward to a gain of 2,700.

The agency, however, said the state’s unemployed population still dipped by 398 to an estimated 72,183 seasonally adjusted from the revised February level. That decreased the state’s unemployment rate one-tenth of a percent to 3.7%.

For the year, nonagricultural employment in the state has increased by 5,300 seasonally adjusted jobs.

Andy Condon, who leads DOL’s Office of Research, in a statement said the March jobless report does not provide a full picture of the employment impacts of the ongoing public health crisis.

“We know from unemployment insurance claims that the leisure and hospitality, healthcare and retail sectors were severely impacted by furloughs and closures,” Condon said. “We will have a more accurate picture of employment impacts in next month’s report.”

DOL has received roughly 350,000 jobless claims in just four weeks, a volume typically seen over a period of years. Nationally, about 16 million people have filed claims since mid-March.
[Read more: DOL says unemployment payment backlog solved by computer fix]
In the first two weeks of March, private sector employment fell by 6,500 jobs to 1,455,700, and the government supersector shed 1,100 jobs.
Seven of the 10 major industry supersectors recorded job declines, and three gained employment in the early part of March. 
Jobs gains were led by the professionals and business services supersector, which added 2,700 net new jobs. Construction and related mining added 700 new positions and manufacturing added 500.
The leisure/hospitality industry shed the largest number of jobs with a loss of 5,600 positions, representing a 3.5% decline for a total of 152,300. Education and health trailed with a loss of 2,400 net jobs, and trade, transportation and utilities and government supersectors each lost more than 1,000 jobs.
Meantime, the financial activities and “other services” sectors shed 900 and 200 jobs, respectively.
The Hartford region led declines with a loss of 3,100 net jobs. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk region also shed 2,300 jobs, and the New Haven region lost another 1,200.

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