August Job Losses Dominated By Public Sector; Private Sector Sees Growth
Overall employment declined in August by about 6,000 jobs, but most of those jobs were in local government, according to the Connecticut Labor Department.
The Labor Department’s analysis Thursday showed private sector jobs in Connecticut grew by 2,300 and unemployment remained unchanged at 8.1 percent.
The July job gains were also adjusted downward from 11,500 to 9,600. An estimated 7,500 or 4.7 percent of the jobs lost in August were in local government.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the numbers released Thursday demonstrate continued private sector job growth.
The drop in numbers from July was not unexpected Malloy said because the school year was longer for many educators and teachers due to the winter storms. He said the numbers may have also been artificially high in July because of summer employment, which ended in August when students went back to school.
“When the numbers shake out next month it will show a lot of it had to do with summer employment,” Malloy said Thursday at an unrelated event. “Municipal governments and state government employ a lot of people over the summer. They start to tail off at the end of August when kids go back to school and I think that’s what is reflected in the numbers.”
Officials at the Labor Department agree.
“As suspected, the very high June and July education numbers were driven by a seasonal adjustment process that was confused by the late closing school year. The August numbers corrected that pattern,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research, said. “Connecticut continued to see growth in the private sector particularly in the goods-producing industry supersectors including construction/mining and manufacturing.”
In the first eight months of the year the state added 14,300 jobs, but it still has a long way to go. In order to fully recover from the 2008 recession it needs to add 59,000 jobs, according to Labor Department officials.
Connecticut has recovered 62,200 positions, or 51.3 percent of the 121,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state in the March 2008 to February 2010 employment recession.
In its 42nd month of recovery, the state has averaged 1,481 new jobs per month since February 2010. The private sector has recovered somewhat faster, adding an average of about 1,693 jobs per month. It has regained 71,100 of the 114,000 private sector jobs lost since February 2010.
Despite a loss of more than 6,000 jobs in August, Connecticut’s employment outlook remains good, Connecticut Business and Industry Association Economist Pete Gioia said.
“The underlying message was more positive than [the overall numbers] would imply,” Gioia explained, noting that the private sector actually gained 2,300 jobs in August, many of them in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
“Unfortunately, we do still see weakness in financial services,” Gioia said, “and that’s a concern going forward. But overall, we’ve added 14,300 jobs since the beginning of 2013. That’s a positive sign; I think overall we’re going to continue on a positive rate.”