CT adds 1,100 jobs in March

City says 7,000 summer jobs are available for Boston youth ages 14 to 18

Connecticut continued its slow but steady job recovery since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by adding 1,100 payroll jobs in March, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the state Labor Department.

Last month rose compared to job increases of 5,100 in February and 8,800 in January, but Labor Department officials said they were not surprised by the slowdown. By factoring in the roughly 15,000 jobs it gained in the first three months of 2023, the state regained nearly 97 percent of the roughly 289,000 jobs it lost. During the economic shutdowns brought on by the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

“This is a strong jobs report,” said Dante Bartolomeo, commissioner of the Department of Labor, in a written statement. “As expected, employers added jobs at a more modest rate than January and February, but clearly this remains a very strong market for job seekers at all levels of their careers.”

In March, five of the state’s 10 sectors increased employment – with professional and business services generating a net gain of 2,200 jobs. Within this sector, administrative and support services added an estimated 2,300 jobs “due in part to a significant jump in hiring for building and housing services,” according to a Labor Department press release.

Of the four sectors that witnessed declines, the construction and mining sector accounted for the majority of those losses, with a decline of 1,800 positions. The information sector has not changed.

“Warm winter weather had a particular impact on construction hiring. Projects that typically close during cold weather remained active throughout the season, distorting the usual hiring patterns we see in the spring,” Patrick Flaherty, director of the Department of Labor’s Office of Research, said in a statement. Noteworthy in the March report: Consumer spending appears to be shifting from retail to services and entertainment. This is good news for restaurants. Employment in this sector is currently higher than pre-pandemic levels.”

Department of Labor officials also noted in the press release that the state “continues to file very low benefits with fewer than 25,000 weekly unemployment claims. On national trend, the state’s quit rate remains high with about 31,000 workers leaving their jobs in February—most of them for jobs.” other.”

While the state’s unemployment rate last month of 4 percent was unchanged from February, it was lower than the 4.3 percent rate in March 2024.

In February, the last month for Compiled data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on state unemployment levelsConnecticut’s unemployment rate is the 10th highest among states. In neighboring states, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in Massachusetts, 4.2 percent in New York, and 3.1 percent in Rhode Island. North Dakota and South Dakota have the lowest combined rates, 2.1 percent.

With unemployment relatively low, the ongoing challenge for many companies since the start of the pandemic has not been creating jobs, but rather finding enough people to fill the vacancies. There are about 100,000 jobs posted across the state, according to Labor Department data.

The addition of another 1,100 jobs – including 500 in the private sector – is encouraging. However, we are not keeping up with the aggregate demand. Connecticut lost another 4,100 people from its workforce in March, with 12-month losses at 44,700, or 2.3 percent, Chris DiBentima, CEO and president of the Connecticut Association of Business and Industry, said in a statement. “This should send a signal to policymakers that it is time to address the workforce crisis.”

Bartolomeo cited some programs that can help companies find workers.

“Registered apprenticeship programs provide on-the-job training, CTHires can promote employment, and American Job Centers can help with on-site job fairs,” Bartolomeo said. “We can help employers recruit with whatever strategy they prefer.”

The payroll jobs Connecticut recorded last month was about 1.69 million, or 1.3 percent, higher than the number in March 2024. The total compared to about 1.70 million jobs in February 2020, the last full month before Connecticut recorded COVID-19 cases. , and 1.72 million jobs in March 2008, which was the all-time peak employment in the state.