CT Ranks #15 in USA in Job Growth This Year

Connecticut’s job growth during the first four months of the year ranked fifteenth among the states, according to data compiled by Governing magazine.  Connecticut average employment between January 1 and April 30, 2015 increased by eight-tenths of one percent from the previous four-month period.  Average employment was 1,685,375, an increase of 13,500 from the four months ending 2014.jobs Idaho recorded the largest percentage increase over the four-month period (+2.2 percent), followed by Utah (+1.8 percent). The other leading job growth states, by percentage, were Washington, Oregon, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, California, North Carolina, Arizona and Vermont.  In West Virginia, Louisiana and Maine, average monthly employment declined slightly.

job growthMuch of how state economies are performing is due to the individual sectors making up their employment base, Governing reported, as several industries experienced weak growth to start the year. Nationally, construction and manufacturing employment expanded little over the first four months, and government employment (local, state and federal), similarly remained essentially unchanged since January, the analysis pointed out.

Nationally, total state and local government employment peaked during the early stages of the recession in the summer of 2008, reaching about 19.8 million jobs. The U.S. Labor Department's most recent estimates indicate the sector remains about 630,000 jobs below this level.  By sector nationally, construction jobs led the way, with government jobs the slowest growing sector.

In April in Connecticut, according to the state Department of Labor (DOL), the private sector lost 300 (-0.02%) positions, although Connecticut private sector firms have increased employment by 21,300 (1.49%) jobs from a year ago, according to state data.  Four of the ten major industry supersectors added jobs in April and just three declined, according to DOL. Financial Activities, Other Services, and Information came in unchanged. Government(1,500, 0.6%) led all industry supersectors in April, with local government (1,400, 0.9%) entities providing the majority of the increase. Manufacturing (1,400, 0.9%) also posted a good-sized monthly increase in April with the durable goods components (1,200, 1.0%) being the strongest performer. The combined Construction and Mining (1,300, 2.4%) supersector experienced healthy April gains as well in a potentially good sign for the home building sector, the DOL analysis pointed out. Education and Health Services (200, 0.1%) showed a small gain, primarily driven by private educational services (400, 0.6%).dol_v4_header_01

In a year-by-year comparison for the month of April, Connecticut (nonfarm) jobs have grown by a seasonally adjusted 9,100 in 2015, which compares to 11,000 in the first four months of 2014, 7,000 for the same timeframe in 2013, 5,000 for 2012, and 10,500 for 2011, according to DOL data.

From Connecticut, Only Hartford Region Reaches Top 50 Best Cities for Job Growth

The rankings of Best Cities for Job Growth don’t place Connecticut’s major metropolitan areas  within reach of the top of the list.47

Among the nation’s large-sized cities, "Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford" made the top 50, ranking at #47 in the latest list from the website newgeography.com.  Leading the 2013 list were metropolitan San Francisco, greater Nashville, and Salt Lake City.  The rankings used four measures of growth to rank all 398 metro areas for which full data sets were available from the past 10 years.hartford  The Hartford region dropped four slots from the 2012 rankings.

New Haven ranked at #65 among the medium-sized cities, just behind Fresno, California and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Leading the list were Boulder, Colorado and Provo-Orem, Utah.  The highest ranked New England community was Framingham, Massachusetts, at #30.  The only other city from the region to reach the list was Springfield, Massachusetts, at #91.  65

Among the leading Small Cities, Danbury was the highest ranked in Connecticut at #111, with Waterbury at #223, and Norwich-New London at  #233, on a list of 241 small cities.  Topping the list were Midland and Odessa, Texas followed by Columbus, Indiana; Cleveland, Tennessee; San Angelo, Texas and Owensboro, Kentucky.

"Large" areas include those with a current non-farm employment base of at least 450,000 jobs. "Midsize" areas range from 150,000 to 450,000 jobs. "Small" areas have as many as 150,000 jobs. The rankings reflect the current size of each MSA’s employment. Only two MSAs changed size categories, with Honolulu, HI moving from “Midsized” to “Large” and Savannah, GA moving from “Small” to “Midsized.”

In the overall rankings, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk was #348, Waterbury ranked #380, and Hartford placed at #229.  All the leading Connecticut metropolitan areas dropped in the rankings in 2013, compared with 2012.

NewGeography.com, based in North Dakota and California, is a site devoted to analyzing and discussing “the places where we live and work.”   It includes “insights on economic development, metropolitan demographics, and community leadership.”  cities

The index is calculated from a normalized, weighted summary of: 1) recent growth trend: the current and prior year's employment growth rates, with the current year emphasized (two points); 2) mid-term growth: the average annual 2007-2012 growth rate (two points); 3) long-term trend and momentum: the sum of the 2007-2012 and 2001-2006 employment growth rates multiplied by the ratio of the 2001-2006 growth rate over the 2007-2012 growth rate (two points); and 4) current year growth (one point). The rankings include all of the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports monthly employment data.

newgeography.com Executive Editor Joel Kotkin is distinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, CA and an adjunct fellow with the Legatum Institute in London. He is author of seven books including his most recent, The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 from Penguin Press and is affiliated with the Praxis Strategy Group and the Center for an Urban Future.