Tag Archive | "Connecticut Unemployment"

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Connecticut Unemployment Rate Declines


By Ann Martinez, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The unemployment rate for August is now 5.3 percent, a decrease from last month, officials said on Thursday.

The state’s preliminary nonfarm August employment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) business survey indicate the state added 3,200 jobs last month to a level of 1,698,900, seasonally adjusted.

This is the fourth monthly state nonfarm jobs increase in a row, state officials said. The state is now estimated to have added 33,200 nonfarm positions  over the year.

July’s originally estimated nonfarm job gain of 4,100  was revised slightly lower to 3,800.

Connecticut’s August 2015 unemployment rate was calculated at 5.3%, seasonally adjusted. This is down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised July 2015 unemployment rate of 5.4% and down one and a tenth of a percentage point from the August 2014 unemployment rate of 6.4%. Connecticut’s unemployment rate has not been this low since May 2008 (5.4%).

“Connecticut’s estimated nonfarm employment growth pace and unemployment rates have come closer in line with national averages this summer,” said Andy Condon, Director of the Office of Research. “In August, earlier school openings and the later Labor Day holiday seemed to influence industry employment, earnings, and hours worked.”

The unemployment rate does not reflect those who have stopped looking for work and is out of the labor force.

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CT Unemployment Rate Hits Lowest Mark Since July 2008


HARTFORD — Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in June, its lowest point since July 2008, as the state added 600 jobs last month – including 2,600 in the private sector that offset losses in government employment, the state Department of Labor reported Monday.

The state has added 27,900 jobs across all sectors since June 2014, when the unemployment rate stood at 6.5 percent.

Connecticut now has gained 13,800 jobs through the first six months of 2015. The state has recovered 97,900 positions, or 82.3 percent of the 119,000 jobs lost during the last recession.

“Above-trend private-sector job growth looks to be continuing, while the jobless rate has recently declined significantly,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research.

“This is yet another milestone reached – unemployment is down to its lowest point in seven years,” Gov Dannel P. Malloy said. “This news comes just a month after we created nearly 6,000 jobs, a huge one-month total.  We are no doubt making progress, and our strategy is no doubt moving Connecticut forward.”

The governor added that these numbers are “another marker that residents’ lives are improving, and another indicator that our economy continues to head in the right direction as a result of our efforts to create jobs.  We know that until everyone that wants a job has one, our work is not complete.”

Peter Gioia, chief economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, noted that Connecticut’s rate is still more than 1 percentage point higher than that of Massachusetts. It also exceeds the national rate of 5.3 percent, “and shows just how stubborn our economic recovery (is) more than five years after the end of the recession,” he said.

Four of the state’s 10 major industry supersectors experienced job gains last month, while five declined, and the information supersector remained unchanged.

The construction and mining supersector enjoyed the biggest gain, adding 2,300 positions in June, while financial activities, manufacturing and professional and business services also grew.

The government supersector faced the biggest drop in June, shedding 2,000 jobs – primarily at the municipal government level. According to the labor department, the timing of local school closing can shift public employment levels sharply during the summer months.

Other supersectors that lost jobs in June include: leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; education and health services; and other services.

Two of the state’s four major labor market areas gained jobs in June, led by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, which added 2,100 positions. The New Haven market added 100 jobs.

The greater Hartford area was the biggest loser, shedding 1,500 positions, while the Norwich-New London-Westerly market dropped 500.

ct unemployment2ChartSC.asp

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Labor Department Now Offers Online Help


WETHERSFIELD — The Connecticut Department of Labor’s online Unemployment Insurance Assistance Center is now available in Spanish, as well as English.

The online service center, which can be found at www.filectui.com, offers a number of unemployment insurance services, including the ability to request an address change, reset a locked account or PIN for benefit filing, make changes to income tax withholding status, and notify the agency upon a return to work.

The online service, first launched a year ago, currently receives up to 1,500 requests each month. The site also has a “UI Basics” section for first time filers, provides information on unemployment benefits that have been paid, instructs people about how to file an appeal, and contains information on how to report suspected fraud. 

According to officials, requently asked questions include whether a person is eligible to collect unemployment, and if an individual can file for benefits while working part-time or attending school or training classes. Answers to these types of questions can easily be found on the site, along with instructions outlining how to apply for benefits via the state’s direct deposit system.

 

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Thousands of Unemployed Connecticut Residents Face A Not So Merry Christmas and New Year


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — It’s going to be a blue Christmas for about 26,000 people in Connecticut.

That’s because the U.S. House of Representatives ended its first session on Friday without extending emergency unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people.

In an economy that’s still emerging from the Great Recession, the worst recession since the Great Depression in the1920s, many are left wondering about the long-term impact on middle-class and working-class families still struggling to find jobs despite “good news” about job growth and a decline in the national unemployment rate, now at 7 percent, the lowest level in five years.

But millions are still unemployed and are looking for work, White House officials said.

In a press call Friday morning, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling detailed the impact of the Republican-led House’s decision to leave millions facing economic anxiety going into the New Year.

“It was the worst downturn since the Great Depression. And it’s why even with the stronger economic news, there’s so much more that needs to be done to improve the economy further,” Sperling said. “We’ve never had this number of unemployed cut off. And we have never in a time of our past not expanded emergency benefits. Never.”

In the Greater Hartford area alone, 6, 534 will lose their benefits on Dec. 28 if Congress fails to extend the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Photo Courtesy of Daily Autocrat

Photo Courtesy of Daily Autocrat

For many people outside the Washington corridor, Congress’s failure to act is baffling, considering the fact that unemployment compensation would give a boost to the still fragile economy, especially during the Christmas holiday period.

“Why are they doing this?” asked Windsor resident Andrea Campbell, Campbell is currently on unemployment benefits. She has been working consistently for two decades until she went for cancer treatment last year. She recovered but is still going for related treatment.

Connecticut Democrat Leaders said the House’s lapse in empathy for millions should be of grave concern to Americans.

“This holiday season, many Americans are still struggling to find a job…. It was wrong for the House to be sent home before the expiration of this important benefit was addressed,” said Congressman John Larson (D-Hartford).

Apparently, the Republicans have a method to their madness. House GOP members were using procedural tactics to delay voting on President Barack Obama’s appointees, and they used unemployment insurance and the poor as political pawns.

According to a recent report, unemployment benefits help alleviate poverty. The U.S. poverty rate in 2012 was 15 percent, the highest in recent history.

In 2008 Congress approved long-term jobless extra weeks of benefits during the Great Recession. In 2012, lawmakers began to slash unemployment benefits, setting in motion a gradual reduction to those weeks in 2012 with “tiers” of weekly payments reducing as the state’s unemployment rates declined.

The result? The numbers of unemployed Americans who receive benefits have been significantly reduced. Only half of the 11.3 million jobless people are receiving unemployment. That means at least 6 million unemployed people have no, or meager income to spend. This goes against a long-held belief that consumer spending drives the economy.

There’s also another reason why Republicans have been seemingly callous about the plight of the poor, observers note.

“They are so disconnected from ordinary people,” said ONeal McDonald, an East Hartford resident who works in Hartford. “They don’t care about people.”

This “neglect” is also political maneuvering.

According to sources, they don’t want to approve President Barack Obama’s judicial circuit court judges. Using parliamentary tactics, the Republicans in the Senate wanted to  stall confirmation of Obama’s appointees until he is out of office. One victim of this tactic was Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve. Yellen, currently the Reserve’s vice chair, she would replace Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in late January.

Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has called their bluff, however. Reid said he would keep all 100 Senators—members of the millionaire club—to work until Christmas Eve to get Obama’s appointees approved.  Earlier, Reid also triggered the “nuclear option” by changing the rules to eliminate filibusters on presidential nominees except Supreme Court nominations.

In a press conference in the James S. Brady Room at the White House on Friday, Obama praised Congress for passing a bi-partisan budget that unwinds sequester cuts and clear the path for business and other investments in the American economy. But he also urged Congress to restore temporary insurance used by the unemployed while they look for work.

“I think we’re a better country than that. We don’t abandon each other when times are tough,” Obama said. “Keep in mind unemployment insurance only goes to people who are actively looking for work.”

Currently, a bipartisan group is working on a three-month extension of unemployment benefits. Obama said that lawmakers upon their return to Congress should make unemployment insurance their first priority.

“They should pass it,” Obama said. “And I’ll sign it right way.”

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State’s Jobless Rate Creeps Up Slightly to 9 Percent


By Keith M. Phaneuf

Connecticut’s unemployment rate rose marginally in October, climbing to 9 percent despite 1,200 new jobs added last month, the state Department of Labor reported Monday.

The latest numbers also show a stabilizing of the jobless rate, which has hovered at or around 9 percent for much of the fall after a volatile summer. The rate rose from 8.1 percent to 9 percent between June and August before dropping to 8.9 percent in September.

“It appears that job growth rates have been slowing over the last two quarters,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research at the labor department, said Monday. “With October’s results we are — for the first time — showing year-over-year declines in job levels.”

The state job market has lost 2,800 jobs since October 2011 for a 0.2 percent decline. The latest report represents the fourth month of job gains in 2012 set against five months of losses and one month with no change.

But Condon added that he believes that once the final 2012 numbers come in and have been analyzed, Connecticut will have gained ground over 2011.

“We believe that when we complete our annual benchmark revisions in March, we will be showing as many as 8,000 to 9,000 more jobs in the state than the payroll survey currently indicates,” he said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has been openly skeptical of the accuracy of the previous labor department reports since this summer, said Monday that some of the latest numbers “are once again pointing in opposite directions.

“On the one hand, we created 1,200 jobs this month,” Malloy said. “But on the other, our overall unemployment rate increased slightly. If these conflicting results tell any single story, it’s that more people are attempting to enter the workforce because conditions are beginning to improve.”

The state’s leisure and hospitality super-sector recorded the most job gains in October, adding 2,200 positions, followed by transportation and utilities, which added 1,900.

Education and health services recorded the largest decline, down 1,500 jobs, while financial activities lost 1,100 positions.

Overall, Connecticut has recovered 30,200, or 25.7 percent, of the 117,500 nonfarm jobs it lost during the last recession, which ran from March 2008 to February 2010.

Four of the state’s six major labor market areas — Hartford, New Haven, Danbury and Waterbury — recorded job growth last month. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and Norwich-New London markets recorded losses.

“The bottom line is this — a slight change in either direction should only serve as a reminder of the important work we have left to do to turn our economy around,” Malloy said. “We are battling strong headwinds, both at the national level and in Europe. The more we learn about the Great Recession, the more we realize how long it’s going to take to get us out of it.”

This was first published in ctmirror.org

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