Horrible State Jobs Report: It Wasn’t Really that Bad

by Categorized: Economy, Jobs Date:

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.



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16 thoughts on “Horrible State Jobs Report: It Wasn’t Really that Bad

  1. Jack

    Dan, It is pretty rough out there and people in a position to hire don’t feel at all confident about the future of the state. Don’t try to explain this away. Things are not good.

  2. johngaltwhereru

    Very interesting. “Whether that means State Policies are to blame is another issue.”

    Exactly what information would let you form a solid opinion on whether State Policies contribute to unemployment rates?

    Here is some info from last month’s State by State BLS unemployment report that might help you figure out if State policies are to blame: Of the 10 States that have the lowest unemployment rates, 9 have either Republican Governors, Republican control of the State Legislature, or both. Of the 10 States with the highest unemployment rates, 9 have Democrat Governors, Democrat control of the State Legislature, or both.

    And one other question: At what point can we expect to see Obama’s policies produce a National Unemployment Rate of 5.25%, like Bush averaged, even including the 2009 rate as all Bush? When can we expect to see 7 consecutive years of unemployment ranging from 4.2% to 5.7% as we did under Bush?

    Or is it also unclear if 42 consecutive months of unemployment over 8% has anything to do with Obama’s policies?

      1. johngaltwhereru

        Hi Jim,

        Isn’t it a shame about the elimination of comments on general stories?

        I sold my practice and am doing per diem work 3 days a week at a couple of hospitals.

        My move to Costa Rica is all set, pending the results of the election. As long as Republicans hold both houses of Congress and can stifle the idiot’s agenda, I will be staying in the States.

        Unfortuantely, I don’t think enough people listen to, or read from legitimate news sources to allow Romney to get elected. But as log as Obama is as powerless as Clinton was in th 90’s, we should be fine.

        Otherwise, the Papagayo area will be home. I will be happy to host you there should you want to visit.

        1. Jimbo


          Its great to hear from you. My hope is that enough people come to their senses and vote the Obamanation out before the damage is irreversible. Lets stay in touch and I hope your are well.

  3. MrLogical

    2nd-highest electricity costs in the nation (only Hawaii is higher…)
    Largest tax increase in the history of the state – $1.9B
    Highest per-capita debt in the nation
    Flat or rising state employment rolls
    Highest gasoline tax in the nation
    Out-of-control capital spending
    Continued budget deficits
    Lowered bond ratings
    Increased regulations
    Increased borrowing
    Income taxes raised
    Gasoline tax raised
    Diesel tax raised
    Sales tax raised

    And the Governor doesn’t understand how the state’s unemployment rate could be increasing?

    And you seem to agree with him – carrying his water?

    Aren’t you tired of being a part of this charade?

  4. MrLogical

    “…something more than just a business cycle is at work here.”

    Really? No kidding?

    It’s called inept and wrong-headed leadership from our Obamadrone tax & spend governor and his tax & spend Democrat-controlled legislature.

    Raise tax? Raise pending?

    Do these people ever read any history books?

  5. MrLogical

    A question for the governor:

    Q: If you were a businessman looking to establish a business somewhere in the Northeast, and you were aware of the salient facts cited above, would you put Connecticut on your short list, expecting that you could be more profitable than in another state that didn’t have these obvious deterrants?

    An honest answer, please.

  6. MrLogical

    Another questin for te governor:

    Q: If you were a businessman in Connecticut, struggling to maintain profitability, and you had to contend with all of the negative factors listed above, and you wanted to expand your buiness and hopefully hire new employees, would you remain in Connecticut, or would you look to another state with a more hospitiable business climate?

    An honest answer, please.

  7. Jimbo

    Dan, tell that to the nearly 1 in 10 looking for full-time work in Connecticut. We’re not buying the shoot the messenger defense. We know this state is in big trouble and liberal politics are killing it. Many economic statistics put this state near the bottom. More taxation, more spending, and more borrowing will only hasten its demise. Last one turn off the lights.

  8. Dam_Mal-annoyed

    Yes a high number “pops” up without anything we can use to explain away in the input data – maybe its the METHODOLOGY ! Years of cooking low numbers for the “Obama Recovery’ you know – the ‘recovery’ that hasn’t had amy improvement since 2007 ! This is a recovery ? ? ? I think your formulas BROKE ! ! !

  9. Mitchell Simpson

    Time for the Courant to really step up and instead of cowtowing to Malloy and Obama, really do some hard core investigative reporting and tell the real story. This state is a complete mess, the country, for the most part, in the same situation. Four more years of this? Can’t imagine it. Even the people in Massachusetts laugh at us now as Taxachusetts is far better taxwise than Connecticut. Wake up, Dan, see what’s happening.

  10. Dan Haar Post author

    I agree there’s some investigating to be done. But no governor in recent memory has curtailed state spending more than Malloy and no president since Truman has had smaller annual increases in federal spending. As tax collection rates fell in 2007 through 2009, we lost revenue and fell in a hole. New Jersey got out of its hole by shorting the pension funds, but unfortunately Gov. Rell had already played that card here. Malloy cut the state payroll by 4,000 people in his first year, and that has hurt the state economy even as it helped balance the budget. Should he have kept them on the job? You would be howling louder than a wolf in a full moon.

    1. johngaltwhereru

      Your comment about Obama and annual increases in spending is absurd.

      Obama started his term with $800 billion in stimulus spending in addition to the normal spending, then used that as the baseline for spending for 2010-2012.

      He did not start off with adding $800 billion in 2009, then subtract the $800 billion for 2010 and go back to standard baseline budgeting increases.

      You either know this, and are intentionally lying, or you do not know this, and should not have a platform to spew this nonsense.

  11. art

    People forget that in 85-86 there was a false real estate boom led by Colonial Realty, CBT, Shawmut, Society for Savings and all long gone insitutions. Legislators were falling over each other to get he 50K certificats from Colonial, and Bill ONell snuck through the “Ed Enhancement Act” which busted the budget in Conn. After 90% of banks went out of business and real estate collapsed, there was no money to pay the teachers which begot the income tax. Since then we have lost jobs with increased population, have 4x the budget and despite that have 34K unfunded liability per household. Our “leaders” are mostly sports obsessed lawyers with poor practices who run to build their name so their business will increase when they leave(otherwise set themselves up for a asst commissioner). All they care about is Geno, Eli, the sox/yanks dividing line and golfing at “Tunxis”..

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