It didn’t happen.
The state’s unemployment rate is said to have skyrocketed from 8.5 percent in July to 9 percent in August, according to a report from the state Department of Labor. And Connecticut employers shed 6,800 jobs.
If true, that would be one of the worst monthly labor reports ever, on par with the months in the teeth of the recession at the start of 2009.
But it’s not true. The unemployment rate didn’t jump by half a point, simply because that measure tends to be slow-moving. This state did not have 17,000 additional people fall into unemployment in the space of one summer month.
At Pete Gioia at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association put it, “This report is suspect.”
Even state officials responsible for tabulating the numbers, are, as my colleague Mara Lee reports, openly questioning the data.
Still, as Gioia and other point out, we are certainly not moving in the right direction. Suddenly, after tracking the nation for most of the recovery, the nation’s richest state is badly lagging, as the U.S. jobless rate has fallen, slowly, to 8.1 percent.
The numbers are muddy, as the monthly reports often are. But with virtually no job creation in 2012, the overall message is clear: Connecticut is not doing well on the jobs front. Whether that means state policies are at fault is another issue.
As Don Klepper-Smith of DataCore Partners put it, three years into a recovery, with 9 percent unemployment, something more than just a business cycle is at work here.