Unemployment Rate Levels Off
Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percent to 8.9 percent in September, according to numbers compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released Thursday by the state Labor Department.
The small but positive change in the state’s unemployment rate comes on the heels of last month’s figures, which represented the largest monthly increase in the rate since 1976. In September the state grew 2,000 jobs. It’s an improvement compared to the loss of 6,800 jobs reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in August.
Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s research office, pointed to steadying employment conditions following uncertainty during the late summer months.
“Unlike the last two months, changes in the employment and unemployment estimates have returned to more typical levels. Because of the unprecedented employment changes reported in July and August, it may take several months for our unemployment rate to return to its prior trend path,” Condon said in a statement.
Condon predicted that the state’s nonfarm jobs count may be revised upward 9,000 to 10,000 jobs for the year after the department completes its annual benchmarking process early next year.
As he has for the last few months, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy questioned the accuracy of the numbers. In a Thursday statement, Malloy said officials of both parties also were disputing jobs statistics.
“With the release of the numbers today, the only thing that’s any clearer is how conflicting the data continues to be. Yes, the divide between the employer’s survey and the household survey has narrowed. But they still tell two stories that can’t both be true,” Malloy said.
Though the 2008 economic crash was worse than initially believed, the governor said the state was making progress positioning itself to grow jobs in the bioscience, digital media, and finance industries.
According to Connecticut Business and Industry Association Economist Pete Gioia, the September jobs report is the best the state has seen in several months, but with only 1,900 jobs added year over year, the results are still very weak.
“It’s really a mixed report — more positive than what we have seen, but still not great,” Gioia said.