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. 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.
Much 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%).
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.