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Sunday, September 21, 2008


Connecticut Jobs Increase and So Does Joblessness

Connecticut unemployment rose 0.7 percent in August to 6.5 percent, which is the highest the state has had since June of 1993. Despite this, employers created around 200 new Connecticut jobs during the course of the month, according to the most recent statistics gathered by the state’s labor department.

Altogether, Connecticut employers have only increased the number of jobs in the state by 900 new positions since the beginning of January. Since last August, 4,200 jobs have come to the state. With the nation as a whole constantly decreasing the number employment opportunities, due to an unstable economy, one would think Connecticut was fairing better than many areas.

This is a difficult thing to determine, since the percentage of Connecticut residents that are filing for unemployment benefits is currently 0.4 percent higher than the national average. Last month was also the second time this year that the state saw as drastic of an increase in joblessness as 0.7 percent in one month, May being the first. Still, state officials believes data other than the unemployment rate shows that Connecticut’s job market is stable.

“Connecticut…bucked the national trend by showing some positive employment gains for August,” said state labor economist John Tirinzonie. “While the nation has seen eight consecutive months of negative growth, we have been fortunate to have had three months of employment gains during this same period.”

Despite this, Tirinzonie believes that Connecticut is “walking an economic tightrope.” According to him, if the national economy doesn’t improve soon, then the state will find itself “falling into the same pattern of job losses.”

For the time being, the Connecticut job market seems able to sustain itself. The state’s monthly employment survey found that five of Connecticut’s 10 major industries added jobs during the month of August, two experienced no change and only three lost jobs. Leisure and hospitality, which added 600 jobs, had the most growth. Both the government sector and financial activities each lost 500 jobs last month.

According to Tirinzonie, the reason that the state can add jobs but see an experience in unemployment is that one survey looks only at new jobs in Connecticut, while unemployment statistics take in to account those who did hold jobs outside of the state but are now without work.


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