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Connecticut Adds Jobs in May; Concern Grows Over Urban Unemployment

Chris Potter
Creative Commons
Connecticut has now added more than 26,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

Connecticut added 6,400 jobs in May, and the state’s unemployment rate fell to six percent. The figures mean so far in 2015, the state is showing its strongest performance since the post-recession recovery began. That’s despite the fact that the department also revised April’s figures from a 1,200 job gain to a 600 job loss. 

Governor Dannel Malloy welcomed the news, saying in a statement that employment is reaching heights that it hasn’t in decades.

Economist Don Klepper Smith, of Datacore Partners in New Haven, agreed the state is moving in the right direction, but he also said the top line numbers mask some less positive trends.

The official unemployment rate may be dropping, down two tenths of a percent to six percent, but, said Klepper Smith, "what that excludes is discouraged workers who’ve given up looking for work, it excludes people forced into part time work wanting fulltime, marginally attached workers." He estimates that in reality, Connecticut’s effective unemployment rate could be over ten percent.

Smith also said that there are disturbing figures coming out of urban areas.

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

“The data we have for April shows that there were 5,700 more unemployed workers in the five municipalities of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven and New London, relative to the early stages of the recession. And in fact the number of unemployed workers is up 35 percent in April of 15, relative to where they were in April of 08,” Smith told WNPR.

With the May numbers, Connecticut has now added more than 26,000 jobs in the last 12 months, and has regained just over 82 percent of the jobs lost during the great recession.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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