Looks like it’s not all grey and gloomy news from the state. In fact, our most recent job report presented a pretty positive update!
CT Mirror reports that the latest job report details the state gained over 4,000 jobs in May. Although not enough to place us back to pre-recession levels, we’ll take it.
While the state added 4,100 jobs in May, our unemployment rate sorta remained unchanged. The State Department of Labor said it held steady at 4.5 percent. Still, we have ways to go before we match the national unemployment rate, which stands at 3.8 percent.
By their estimates, it means about 84,900 unemployed residents still seek work in the state.
But, back to the good news. In the first 5 months of 2018, our state added 11,500 jobs. That’s a gain of 0.7 percent.
Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research, finds the news promising:
“There was surprising strength in retail trade and a good showing for financial activities. Both of which are now ahead of last year’s pace.”
In addition, May’s job report bucked the downward trend we saw in March and April.
In the private sector, it gained 4,300 jobs last month, finally putting it back at 100 percent since the recession. However, that means it took that sector over 10 years to completely regain what it lost.
In addition, our public sector dwindled by 200 positions in the latest job report.
But, Governor Dan Malloy refuses to see that as a sign of weakness:
“Quite frankly, I’m not unhappy that government jobs — with the exception of the tribal nations — are down substantially. That was my goal. As of June 1, I think we were down 13.1 percent in state employees. That was a goal.”
Considering residents blasted our government for creating unnecessary positions, like an assistant to the administrative assistant, we’ll buy into that. But, you know, Malloy could have just said that instead of spouting that cryptic message.
When asking an economist whether or not this is good news, their opinion is more tepid. Economist Don Klepper-Smith of DataCore Partners sees both the good and bad.
“The job data through the first five months of 2018 shows we’ve posted a YTD (year to date) gain of just 0.5 percent, indicating lackluster, fractional growth that’s probably in the fifth quintile of the U.S. rankings.”
Whether or not this will offset the recession he predicted earlier this year is still yet to be seen. For now, keep your fingers crossed that we dodge that painful bullet.
What do you think? Is this job report good or bad news? Where should CT be jobs-wise, anyway? Do you think we’ll enter another recession or will the latest numbers spare us?