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May 19, 2023

CT shed 900 jobs in April; these industries gained and lost jobs

The state's leisure and hospitliaty industry shed 300 jobs in April.

Connecticut recorded its second straight month of job losses in April, as employers continue to struggle to fill open jobs, according to new data released by the state Department of Labor. 

Connecticut employers shed 900 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate ticked downward to 3.8%, a three-year low. The U.S. unemployment rate is 3.4%.

Connecticut labor officials also revised March’s job numbers downward: instead of adding 1,100 jobs that month, employers actually shed 1,700 positions. 

The March and April losses follow higher-than-expected job gains recorded in January and February, when employers added nearly 14,000 positions. Overall, despite the recent losses, Connecticut has averaged 2,800 new jobs per month in 2023.

“Industries that saw declines in April were industries that had big gains earlier this year — those sectors front-loaded their hiring,” said Patrick Flaherty, director DOL’s office of research. “Particularly in construction and landscaping, early hiring was enough to impact sector numbers this spring. This was an unusually warm winter overlaid on pandemic recovery. Despite these ups-and-downs, Connecticut’s economy is steady and stable with several industries above pre-pandemic job levels. We continue to watch inflation and other national issues, but these March and April numbers will likely smooth out with more months of data.”

In April, private sector employment declined by 1,400 positions, while the government sector added 500 jobs. The state's private sector is 97.5% recovered from the April 2020 COVID employment low, while the public sector is now 71.9% recovered.

Overall, the state has recovered 95.5% (276,000) of the 289,100 jobs lost during the 2020 COVID lockdown period.

Meantime, Connecticut employers are still having a difficult time filling open positions, as the number of available jobs continues to outpace the number of potential workers in the state who can fill them.

Connecticut employers reported 104,000 job openings at the end of March, up 6.1% from 98,000 job openings reported at the end of February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

Nationally, there were 9.6 million jobs open in the United States at the end of March, down from 9.9 million open jobs in February, BLS data shows.

Connecticut Business & Industry Association President and CEO Chris DiPentima said his biggest concern from recent employment data is with the labor force, “which declined by another 4,400 people last month and is now down 46,500 workers over the last 12 months.”
“Employers have made major adjustments in wages, benefits and workplace flexibility — our voluntary quits rate is now the fourth lowest in the country — but they cannot find enough workers,” he said. 

Five of the 10 major industry supersectors increased jobs in April 2023, and five declined.

The industry supersectors that increased employment in April included:

  • Educational and Health Services +700, 0.2%, 352,700
  • Government +500, 0.2%, 230,200
  • Trade, Transportation & Utilities +400, 0.1%, 297,500
  • Information +200, 0.6%, 31,300
  • Other Services +200, 0.3%, 62,100

The five industry supersectors lost jobs in April 2023 were:

  • Professional and Business Services -1,500, -0.7%, 224,500
  • Manufacturing -600, -0.4%, 157,700
  • Financial Activities -300, -0.3%, 114,700
  • Leisure and Hospitality -300, -0.2%, 153,500
  • Construction and Mining -200, -0.3%, 60,200

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