CT DEPT. OF LABOR: UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IMPACTED BY INCREASED COVID INFECTIONS

This article was published on: 12/17/20 11:53 AM by Mike Minarsky

(WETHERSFIELD, CT) – Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) Commissioner Kurt Westby today announced that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the state’s unemployment rate is 8.2%, up from 6.1% in October. This rate reflects the impact that increased COVID-19 infections are having on the Connecticut economy and the workforce. The state’s unemployment rate is an important economic marker and plays a significant role in getting federal assistance to a workforce uprooted by the pandemic.

Commissioner Westby said, “The virus continues to have an impact on the economy. The higher COVID rates this fall caused closures and a pause in economic activity; these unemployment numbers generally reflect what people are seeing in terms of curtailed dining and retail. It’s important to mention that the economy is showing an underlying resilience that bodes well for recovery once the vaccine is widely distributed and people can re-engage in their activities.”

For several months, the official unemployment numbers were inconsistent with the number of claims. This resulted in a gap between the federal assessment and Connecticut’s assessment of the unemployment rate. This report reflects a better alignment and picture of the unemployed population in the state. Connecticut economists estimate the unemployment rate is 9-10%, down from about 11% last month.

Patrick Flaherty, CTDOL Acting Director of Research, said, “Federal government employment fell by 1,000 jobs as temporary Census work ended. In addition, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decrease in leisure and hospitality where accommodation and food service lost a portion of last month’s gains. Offsetting these declines, transportation and warehousing, which includes delivery services, grew in November and now employs more people than one year ago.”

Topline points from the report: 

  • Three-month unemployment rate:
    • 7.8% in September
    • 6.1% in October
    • 8.2% in November
  • Connecticut lost an estimated 1,600 payroll jobs in November.
  • Connecticut has regained 64.5% of the jobs lost in March and April.
  • The trade, transportation, and utilities sector saw the most job gains.

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