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CBIA: Labor Shortage is Main Obstacle to Connecticut’s Economic Growth

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  • Connecticut Business & Industry Association calls for more aggressive efforts from Connecticut executive and legislative branches to return people to work
  • Organization says figures show state lagging behind in jobs growth, unemployment
  • Call comes in response to September’s jobs report

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association is calling for a more aggressive approach to get people back to work as Connecticut’s jobs recovery and unemployment rate lag behind the national average. The organization notes how a recent survey of members showed four out of five Connecticut employers are having difficulty hiring workers, and said that labor shortages are the main drag on the state’s economic recovery.

The organization was responding to the state’s September jobs report, when 4,700 jobs were added to the Connecticut economy. This was down from a July high of 11,100, with the state seeing a year-to-date jobs growth rate of 2.5 percent – the second slowest in New England and one point behind the national rate.

“CBIA and the business community are ready to work with the administration and the legislature to implement significant policy solutions for getting people back to work and realizing Connecticut’s tremendous potential,” said CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima.

  • DiPentima says the figures are a “major concern,” as Connecticut’s jobs growth is not keeping track with expectations despite a strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has limited further disruptions from the virus
  • Connecticut has recovered 70 percent of the jobs lost at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, versus a national rate of 78 percent; the state’s 6.8 percent unemployment rate is the highest in the region and two points higher than the national rate
  • Construction jobs in Connecticut have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, while jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities are at 96 percent of pre-pandemic levels; the information and financial activities sectors are down jobs compared to before the pandemic
  • CBIA says there are 86,600 fewer people working in Connecticut than in February 2020 despite 70,000 job openings in the state

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