FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – More jobs were created in Connecticut in 2013 than previously indicated, but the state lost 10,400 jobs in January, according to a report released Friday by the Connecticut Department of Labor.
“Newly benchmarked employment statistics reaffirm the consistent job growth in the state that brought down the unemployment rate in 2013,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research at the labor department in a statement. “However, the steep decline in January payroll jobs remains a concern. If, as we suspect, January’s decline was largely due to weather conditions we should see growth trends return in future months.”
Despite the job losses, the state's unemployment rate fell in January for a sixth consecutive month to 7.2 percent. The national unemployment rate for the same month was 6.6 percent.
After conducting their yearly analysis, economists at the Department of Labor determined that private sector job growth had exceeded initial estimates and expectations. Economists revised their total upward to more than 21,000 private sector jobs created last year, the labor department said in a release. That figure represents one of the best years for job growth in the last 20 years, the labor department said.
During Dannel Malloy's tenure as governor from January 2011 to December 2013, the state added nearly 53,000 private sector jobs. In addition, weekly unemployment claims have steadily declined during that same period of time.
“The annual restatement of labor figures is yet another sign that we are making progress in turning our economy around," Malloy said. "With 53,000 private sector jobs created through the end of last year, we are experiencing one of the best periods of growth that Connecticut has seen in decades.
“When you combine that with what we are doing to invest in public education and stabilize our state’s finances, what you have is a road map to a sustainable future.
“Clearly, we have much more work to do. But we are making steady progress in our effort to create good-paying jobs with good benefits for middle-class families in Connecticut.”
After hitting a new employment recovery high in December 2013 with 1,663,500 jobs, Connecticut’s nonfarm employment lost 10,400 positions to 1,653,100 jobs in January 2014.
Cold and snowy winter weather slowed economic activities more than usual across the state and region in recent months and may have had an impact on January job statistics, Condon said.
But the ongoing decline in Connecticut’s unemployment rate continued into January, dropping two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.2 percent, from the revised 7.4 percent rate estimated in December 2013. The rate was 8.0 percent in January 2013. This is the sixth monthly unemployment rate decline in a row since reaching 7.9 percent in July 2013.
Connecticut has recovered 59,200 positions, or 49.7 percent of the now 119,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state in the March 2008 to February 2010 employment recession.
Here are the annual average unemployment rates since the recovery began:
- 2013: 7.8 percent
- 2012: 8.3 percent
- 2011: 8.9 percent
- 2010: 9.3 percent