As job opportunities go, it was a pretty good one to hit Indeed.com: a sales consultant position in the Rocky Hill office of payroll giant Paychex that pays $78,000 a year — a salary that’s right in line with the average annual household income in Connecticut.
But unemployed workers scanning Indeed for similar paychecks will find fewer than 200 statewide jobs uploaded since the start of the week — out of some 2,000 new job openings in Connecticut across all pay scales posted during that stretch.
In late February, more than 218,000 Connecticut residents were looking for work, a number that has remained stubbornly elevated since the start of the year. More than 14,000 job seekers reported their pay at $75,000 or more prior to being laid off.
On Indeed, there is roughly one open job in Connecticut for every four workers looking, with only about 5,750 jobs that pay $75,000 or more. A significant number of those high-paying jobs are in health fields that require professional certifications that take months or years to complete.
New job ads increased by nearly half in Connecticut last week to some 6,200 openings on career websites tracked by the economic analysis nonprofit The Conference Board, with every industry seeing gains.
As Gov. Ned Lamont crafts a strategy to spur hiring coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, one major hurdle is getting employers to add jobs with staying power — literally, at sufficient pay so that families can afford to stay a lifetime.
Speaking Tuesday morning to members of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Lamont held out hope for the possibility of a swift economic turnaround, as the state puts a new round of federal stimulus dollars to work across a range of programs and the state accelerates vaccinations.
“I think our economy is like a coiled spring,” Lamont said Tuesday. “I think … it snaps back pretty quickly over the course of the next three, six months.”
But CBIA CEO Chris DiPentima said Tuesday that the association’s members remain leery of how the Connecticut General Assembly will seek to fund future spending priorities, with the emergence of multiple tax proposals that Lamont reiterated on Tuesday he opposes.
Speaking after Lamont, Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme, warned legislators to be mindful of the impact that taxes and regulations can have on the businesses on which the state economy depends to generate momentum by adding jobs — including the best paying kind.
“My late husband use to say, until you sign the front of the check instead of the back — you don’t get it,” Cheeseman said Tuesday. “I believe businesses are not evil robber barons — they are men and women of all walks of life who made the biggest bet in some ways in the world: to start a business, to hire people.”
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman