April in Connecticut saw the addition of only 500 jobs, a 0.03% uptick from March, according to new data from the Connecticut Department of Labor. April’s minimal job creation rate brought the statewide total to 1,580,600.
As of last month, Connecticut had recovered 60.4% of the 292,400 positions lost in March and April 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown. April 2020 was the employment low point during the pandemic, with 1,403,900 jobs statewide.
Connecticut’s unemployment level reached 8.1% in April, higher than the national 6.1% rate.
Private sector employment in April was down by 600 (-0.04%) to 1,357,900, although it was higher by 167,200 jobs (14%) from one year earlier. Within that sector, the most job gains were recorded by the professional and business services segment (3,600, up 1.8%) and leisure and hospitality (1,800, up 1.5%).
The government supersector added 1,100 jobs (0.5%) to a level of 222,700 and up by 9,500 (4.5%) positions from the previous year.
Among the submarkets, the Greater Danbury area led the state with 400 new jobs (up 0.6%) and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk corridor added 100 positions (up 0.03%).
“”Recoveries are uneven – April’s small job gains follow stronger gains in March,” said Patrick Flaherty, director of the Office of Research at the Connecticut Department of Labor. “Evidence of increased job postings and openings suggests Connecticut is poised for larger gains later this year.”
CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima noted that the state’s 60.4% recovery figure trails that of most New England states as well as the national average.
“It seems counterintuitive, as Connecticut’s unemployment rate is the highest in the region,” he said, “but employers cannot find people to fill entry-level and skilled positions across a number of sectors, including leisure and hospitality, advanced manufacturing, health care, and financial services.”
DiPentima said that some of the factors that CBIA members are citing as barriers to hiring include childcare issues, fears of contracting Covid-19, the federal unemployment benefit supplement, and the continued suspension of the state’s work search requirement for those on unemployment.
“In addition,” he added, “businesses are anxiously watching the current budget debate, with the continued push for more than a $1 billion in tax hikes leaving many employers to adopt a wait-and-see approach before they’ll commit to any new investments in the state.”