Connecticut, Massachusetts Economies on Divergent Paths

Connecticut and Massachusetts share a border but diverge dramatically in economic standing.  The stark contrast was evident this week in local updates provided by the Boston Globe and Connecticut Business and Industry Association newsfeeds. First, Connecticut:

Connecticut lost 3,500 jobs in November, extending a five-month slide that now marks a crisis point for the state's struggling economy.  The state has lost 15,300 jobs since reaching a post-recession employment high in June—a trend that stands in stark contrast to what's happening in the region and the country.

Connecticut has lost 15,300 jobs since hitting a post-recession employment high in June.

CBIA economist Pete Gioia noted that after an encouraging start to 2017, Connecticut's year-over-year job growth is now flat.

The New England states average 1.2% growth over the last 12 months, while U.S. growth is at 1.4%.

"You can't deny the fact that we now have a full-blown crisis in jobs," Gioia said.  "It's difficult to define the glass as half full when we see continued job losses like this."

Next, Massachusetts:

The Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in November, from 3.7 percent in October, the fourth consecutive monthly decline – the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported.  The state jobless rate remained one-half percentage point below the national average of 4.1 percent, according to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance.

An estimated 6,700 jobs were added to payrolls statewide.  In the private sector, most of the gains occurred in areas that included leisure and hospitality education and health services, construction and manufacturing.  The state labor force dropped by 8,200 from October and is now at more than 3.6 million.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that Massachusetts has added 65,200 jobs since last November.