Connecticut added 3,000 jobs in February and upwardly revised its January jobs numbers to post a 1,000 gain, according to new data from the state’s Department of Labor.
The DOL added that the total payroll employment is now 121,500 positions below year-ago levels at 1,574,800 jobs, a 7.2% decline.
Connecticut has recovered 170,900 nonfarm jobs, or 58.4% of the 292,400 positions lost in March and April 2020 as a result of the economic tumult created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Private sector employment increased by 4,000 positions to 1,354,800 in February, a 0.3% uptick, but is down by 105,700 jobs (-7.2%) from February 2020, the last pre-pandemic month. The government supersector lost 1,000 jobs (-0.5%) to a level of 220,000 and has 15,800 fewer jobs (-6.7%) from the previous year.
February marked the fourth consecutive monthly loss for public sector jobs.
The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk corridor posted the greatest job gains in the state with 1,000 new jobs, a 0.3% uptick, while the Greater Danbury area added 100 positions for a 0.1% gain.
“Connecticut’s job market rebounded in early 2021 after a set-back at the end of 2020 that coincided with an increase in COVID-19 infections” said Patrick Flaherty, acting director of the Office of Research at the Connecticut Department of Labor. “We will need several months of sustained job growth to bring the unemployment rate down, but the January and February job gains are encouraging.”
“We’ve been saying since the fall resurgence that Connecticut needed another federal stimulus package for businesses, a successful vaccine rollout, and warmer weather,” said CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima. “With all three now here, we hope this employment recovery trend will sustain and gain momentum throughout the remainder of the year.”
Saying that how the state allots its roughly $2.6 billion in state relief from the federal American Rescue Plan Act will be critical to the state’s future, DiPentima said that “Connecticut must also step up — as other states have — and remove cost burdens and mandates on struggling businesses, including repaying federal debt on our strained unemployment system.
“We are a national leader in vaccine distribution and safe reopening efforts,” he added. “We now need to be a leader in economic and jobs recovery. We still have a ways to go.”