Brisk Hiring in April, But Long Way To Go

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Connecticut’s employers hired briskly in April, as both private companies and government employers added positions, for a combined total of 6,300 new jobs.

The release Thursday from the state Department of Labor was an encouraging report, said economist Pete Gioia, with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. But he said the state needs to add 25,000 jobs a year, rather than the 10,800 year-over-year improvement through April.

The last time the state added jobs that quickly was 1997, though the state broke the 20,000 mark in 1999 and in 2006.

“Let me see four or five of these in a row,” Gioia said. Jobs numbers for Connecticut have been quite erratic in the last several years, with promising months soon followed by terrible ones.

The unemployment rate, which is estimated by a different survey with a smaller sample size, remained at 8 percent in April. It hasn’t changed appreciably in Connecticut in the last year. In the U.S. in April, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.

The state has recovered less than half the jobs lost from 2008 to 2010, while the country as a whole is 70 percent of the way back to pre-recession job levels.

“We’ve got a ways to go,” Gioia said. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

In the first four months of 2013, the state has already added more than the 8,600 jobs added all year in 2012.

Kim Olsen, who lost her job running MetLife’s mortgage operations in Connecticut when the office closed in March 2012, got back to work in January.

Olsen, who had opened the MetLife office in 2009, took a step down in responsibility when she became a mortgage processor for PrimeLending, when it opened a new office in Danbury.

A former coworker is running that office — Olsen said all of her 35 or so colleagues from MetLife who wanted to work again have returned to work.

She gets to work from home in Middletown, and only had to take a roughly 10 percent pay cut, but she noted the MetLife job was a step down in pay from the job she held for 13 years in Chase Bank.

“I’ve been on this downward slide for five years now,” said Olsen, 48. “I’m going in the wrong direction.”

Average hourly earnings in the state are down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.

Gioia said the small and medium-sized businesses that make up the bulk of CBIA’s membership have been somewhat more positive about the economy lately, but he said: “The big overhang question with a lot of companies I think is Obamacare.”

Construction is finally lifting the economy, both locally and nationally. The number of jobs in construction is up nearly 8 percent compared to a year ago, the fastest job growth in any sector. Hotels and restaurants were second, with almost 6 percent more jobs than a year ago.

Two important, well-paying sectors in the state have fewer jobs than they did a year ago — manufacturing and finance and insurance.

George Worrall III, has been looking for work since January, when he had to leave his civilian, full-time job with the Air National Guard because he left the National Guard. He served in the military for nearly 29 years, reaching the rank of lietenant colonel.

Worrall, 47, was the only source of income for his family of four, as his wife has been a stay-at-home mother for 10 years. She has looked for jobs, too, recently, but he thinks he has more earning potential.

He said he had an interview Wednesday for a  commission-only job doing insurance estimates for storm damages around the state. If the homeowners chose the restoration company he represented, he would be paid.

“The potential for income is really good, I kind of like the idea of being outside,” Worrall said. “You can set your own schedule.”

Worrall has applied to dozens of jobs, many in marketing, where the bulk of his experience has been, but in every case, only got automated replies.

“You read about a position, you say, ‘Wow that sounds pretty interesting,’ tweak your resume to make sure it highlights what they’re looking for, write a new cover letter. None of those blind applications have worked.”

One with LEGO, that seemed like a really good match with his experience, not only didn’t lead to an interview, he saw it readvertised this week after he applied months ago.

He drove up from his home in East Hampton to two job fairs in East Hartford in the last month, one specifically for veterans, but he said the face-to-face networking doesn’t seem to provide much of an edge.

“I even noticed at the job fair, the name tags didn’t have last names on them,” he said, and the cards the recruiters handed him just directed him to online portals.

He said one of the marketing jobs listed at the booth for Mohegan Sun had been filled before the fair.

The only two interviews came from job fairs, both for commission-only sales jobs.

“It seems like there’s so many people out looking,” he said.

Still, Worrall considers himself fortunate. He’s collecting a military pension, and another $22 a week in unemployment.

“We certainly had to make a lot of personal changes at home, in order to live without two-thirds of our salary we’re used to,” he said. But he knows many families don’t have savings to draw on, as they did.

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48 thoughts on “Brisk Hiring in April, But Long Way To Go

  1. sue

    WHERE. I keep reading about companies laying off, closing up and moving out. My view is this is more BS from DANNY BOY. If there are all these new jobs WHY is the state facing a $1.5 BILLION deficit next year. And what is the ‘RATS answer. MORE AND HIGHER TAXES.

      1. Jack Canady

        Why would he do that, He could jut listen to Jay Carney because the other networks just parrot what he says.

      2. Johngaltwhereru


        After this week, your comment demonstrates either unmitigated ignorance, denial of reality, a remote stuck on MSNBC or an Obamalike inability to accept where responsibility lies.

        Fox News is the only network, up until this week, that has reported on any of the Obama Administrations lies. This makes all the other news sources who have been covering for Obama corrupt, biased, and demonstrative of a complete lack of Journalistic Integrity.

        Further, Fox News could not care less, nor do they report on Malloy’s handling of Connecticut’s economy. Malloy is an MSNBC boy, as is demonstrated by his unbelievably frequent appearances on that network.

        Should Malloy decide to evenly split time between Fox News and MSNBC, he will be subjected to questions such as “Why does the CT unemployment rate remain above the National average, and way above the average for States with Republican Governors. Instead, he goes on a network that does nothing but cheerlead for any Liberal Democrat.

        1. Joanie W.

          There is really nothing to these stories when you read more than the headlines…absolutely nothing.

          1. johngaltwhereru

            Joanie W.,

            You share John’s description.

            If the IRS story is just a headline, why did Obama sidestep the question the Bloomberg reporter asked today, and answer in his typical weasle fashion that had nothing to do with the question asked?

            If the Benghazi story is just a headline, why has the Administration lied so hard about it. And please don’t pretend they didn’t lie. That is beyond question at this point.

            If the DOJ is just a headline, why is the administration pretending they are in favor of a free press when they have prosecuted more leak cases than all the previous Administrations combined?

            Simple questions. None of them require the words headline, Fox News, Republican or Tea Party to answer. Care to take a crack at any of them?

        2. Doug

          You poor dumb slob,like you watch every hour of every news show in America.More like Fox News told you they were the only ones covering it and all other media is corrupt.Fox News,never moderate, never boring and never a news organization.

          1. Johngaltwhereru

            No, you ignorant Obamatron, I don’t watch ever hour of these networks.

            I go to the network’s websites after seeing or reading about what I consider significant news and see that they have no interest and no comment on these stories.

            I go to NBC’s website and see how wonderful the gloroius Mrs. Clinton was during her lie infested Congressional Testimony. What a hero to say “What difference at this point does it make?” in reference to the death of an Ambassador and 3 others. The fawning coverage of how she put the Republican witch hunt to rest was repulsive at best.

            The Benghazi story that the “never a news organization” Fox has been reporting since September finally had to be covered by “legitimate” news organizations once ABC released the lies the Administration had been telling.

            If you think that the networks displayed adequate investigative journalism and interest in Benghazi, why don’t you link to any of their hard hitting coverage prior to when ABC was given, not found, given the emails that proved the Administration was lying. Otherwise, I will continue to assume you have as little grasp on reality as you display in your writing.

  2. NianticRebel

    Key, unanswered questions: How many of those new jobs are full-time? How many of those new jobs are either in the service industry or minimum wage?

    1. MotherofTwo

      exactly. It is not the number of jobs created but if those jobs are full-time, part-time, per diem or pay minimum wage. I have been working for 18 months as a per diem teacher – making less than 1/3rd of my salary as a full-time teacher with no benefits. technically I am employed and my per diem teaching job is a job created.

  3. Jeffrey Wright

    I fail to see how these numbers, cooked or not cooked, even remotely justify a budget explosion that Gov. Malloy and the entire Democratically controlled legislature is currently proposing. At the end of the day Taxpayers and businesses are going to be paying substantially more than they ever have been.

    I’ve hired. I’ve hired and am working 75 hours a week missing almost every activity my four children are involved in. I’ve hired because my business needs to expand JUST to maintain the income to stay even. My reward? A brand new shiny tax bracket that will surely increase my tax burden on both the Federal and State level. So excuse me if I’m not jumping for joy.

  4. CowboyEd

    CT does not know what growth is. Come to TX and see for yourself. I lived in CT for many years. Left in 2000 and never looked back. Keep paying those taxes to keep that liberal agenda alive and well. Suckers…

        1. Joanie W.

          That report only measured a few non critical criteria. Significantly less Texans go to college than Ct residents. About 34% less.

          1. NianticRebel

            If you’re going to cite statistics please list where they came from other wise I will assume you are making them up.

          2. BobW

            Joanie W, I really have to wonder about education in CT including yours. You yourself obviously don’t see that CT is bleeding jobs to other states including TX. So all I have to say is so what to your misguided point. TXs economy is better than CTs and students who study here are leaving because there is nothing here. So who is better educated?

          3. Mara Lee Post author

            Joanie W. is not making up the stats about education levels in Connecticut. It is the third-highest state in the country for percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, behind only Massachusetts and Colorado. Many of those educated workers commute to NYC, but many do not. The proportion of CT residents with college degrees is between 35 and 36 percent; the proportion of Texans is between 25 and 26 percent. Full details here:

            This is one of the reasons why Connecticut jobs tend to pay far better than those in Texas.

      1. johngaltwhereru

        Joanie W.,

        That depends on who is ranking the States. If the NEA, who has a vested interest in increasing education spending, and therefore includes money spent per pupil in it’s criteria for ranking the States, then Texas ranks low.

        Here is a ranking that puts Texas at 14 despite being in the bottom 10 in spending. This ranking is based purely on student performance. Texas’ ranking is higher than CT, and much, much higher than D.C., who spends the most in the nation per pupil.

        This supports US News and World Report’s latest ranking of top public high schools which had 29 Texas schools ranked above the top ranked CT school.

        Of course, all of these rankings take the typical Liberal line of ignoring racial demographics. Should we ignore the fact that many of the States ranked at the bottom have disproportionate numbers of illegal aliens in their schools? How about that fact that a high percentage of those students have English as their second language and parents that don’t speak English at all. But why would that be relevant?

      2. MotherofTwo

        HA. We all know MS, LA, AL, Arkansas are well below Texas in educational attainment. Texas last in education…check your facts.

    1. DR

      If you “never looked back” and left CT 13 years ago, why are you still reading and posting comments to the Courant?

    2. DR

      Interesting comment. According to recent BLS data, CT has experienced a higher rate of job growth than Texas over the past few months and over the past 12 months. Take a look the BLS report the Courant recently posted.

  5. Bill

    As long as Oblama is in the White House there will not be any long-term recovery. You can count on that.

      1. Joanie W.

        Stock Market has more than doubled. He set a record for the shortest amount of time to double the stock market.
        P.s. dont try to tell me the stock market and the economy are not related.. I am smarter than that and than you

        1. NianticRebel

          @Joanie W – There is a big difference between how the stock market and its players prosper and how the working people barely scrape by. I think that was the message of the Occupy movement.

          1. Joanie W.

            Oh I agree with that. Outsourcing of America’s future does mean a bad economy.

        2. concerned citizen

          I see Malloy spoke person is defending his tax and spend policies. Just wait till he raises taxes again next year because the deficit is a half billion dollars already

        3. JM

          Your funny Joanie. Didn’t the stock market double too under Bush(as well as the national debt)? How did that work out by the end of his 2nd term? Even farther back, the stock market zoomed under Clinton, and then crashed right as he was leaving. It’s called a BUBBLE.
          Also, if the economy is truly improving, that means tax receipts should be going up because more and more people are employed and paying taxes. The state is still running deficits….the fed’s tax receipts were flat, until this year, and are going up now only because of tax increases.
          I dont’ think the economy is in terrible shape, or in great shape, but somewhere in between, which is a disgrace considering how much money was spent to stimulate and prop up the economy.

  6. JM

    I commute down Route 8 in the morning towards Bridgeport. I used to do it 13 years ago for a couple of years, then moved away, before moving back. I’ve gotta say that the traffic on Route 8 is better now than it was 13 years ago! I’m amazed at how little traffic there is in the morning and in the evening. Not complaining at all about that! Maybe it’s a small sample size of the CT job market, but quite a sample nonetheless!

  7. Mr. SY

    Is it that Connecticut force to pay Federal more than states that dont pay as much(states who are cheap living) yet received a lot of aids than giving to FEDS. Is that why CT tax is high??? Something dont seemed fair here.

  8. sue

    Dear Joanie,

    the ONLY reason the stock market has doubled is because Bernake has kept interest rates artificially low in an attempt to goose the economy. He is forcing investors to put their money in the market rather than get .25% at the banks WE the taxpayers bailed out.

          1. johngaltwhereru

            Any correlation between the Fed printing money then buying $85 Billion a month in Treasury and Mortgage backed securities and the stock market cranking?

            For someone who runs their mouth so aggressively, you know very little about the topics at hand.

  9. BobW

    Brisk hiring? give me a break. Who writes this crap. Do reporters/journalist take math in college? 6300 new jobs is an abysmal and abject failure. How can you call it “brisk hiring” when you compare it to the state population of 3 million or the 1.5million employable or employed? A better adjective would have been weak or lame.

    1. Mara Lee Post author

      I wrote this. The fastest this state has ever added jobs is 25,000, or a pace of just less than 2,100 a month.
      Adding more than 6,300 on a base of 1.6 million jobs is brisk for this state, which does not have rapid population growth.
      You’re mixing up two concepts when you say employable or employed, however; we are talking about the number of jobs at Connecticut employers, not the number of workers in the state. There are 1.7 million people who live in Connecticut who are working; many are commuting to New York, some to other states, some are self-employed.

      1. Brian C. Duffy


        If by any chance, we get 3 or 4 months in a row of similar growth, make sure you get the CBIA economist to chime in again. I bet he’ll say he wants to see another 3 or 4 months.

        One point: Don’t respond directly to the cowardly anonymous bloggers here…Left or Right.

        When you engage the CABs, you only encourage them. Which leads to this continual atmosphere of digital detritus.

      1. Old capitalist

        Lets see, I read that Met Life eliminated 650 positions in March and UTC let go 170. I also read that Coco-Cola and ATT had layoffs. Other than a restaurant opening here and there I didn’t read of any material hires in the news. Pray tell, where o where did all these hires occur?

          1. Old capitalist

            Go Boehringer! Wait, aren’t you one of those greedy drug companies making tons of money off sick people?

  10. Doug

    Tune into John (Johnny Ringo) Roland, convicted felon and top AM radio pundit for Republicans and right with WTIC radio.He’ll tell you every minute of every show all the bad things going on in Ct and that we should all move out.Just what Ct sponsors want the hear.

    1. Johngaltwhereru

      Well then we should expect all the sponsors to drop their advertising, correct?

      They are under no mandate to purchase airtime on WTIC, are they?

      Rowland will be off the air in no time with no sponsors.

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