AP News

Conn. unemployment ticked up to 9 percent in Oct.


WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's unemployment rate ticked up slightly in October, returning to 9 percent after falling below that threshold in September, the state Labor Department said Monday.

A survey of business payrolls estimated that Connecticut added 1,200 jobs to a workforce of 1.6 million. However, a household survey showed the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent from 8.9 percent in September.

The surveys have been volatile recently, with job growth rates slowing over the last six months, state labor economist Andy Condon said.

"We are, for the first time, showing year-over-year declines in job levels," he said.

Compared with October 2011, the state's job market has lost 2,800 jobs, or 0.2 percent.

However, state labor officials believe that when annual revisions are done in March, Connecticut will show as many as 8,000 to 9,000 more jobs were added than the payroll survey now indicates, Condon said. If that happens, the current year-over-year declines "will no longer hold," Condon said.

The unemployment rate in Connecticut hit 9 percent in December 2009 and stayed above that level until May 2011, when it edged down to 8.9 percent. It reached 9 percent again in August and dipped to 8.9 percent in September. Its low point was 7.7 percent in April.

Nationally, the unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent in October from 7.8 percent in September because the workforce grew.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy sees a similar situation in Connecticut. The conflicting statistics — a slight rise in the number of new jobs with an uptick in the jobless rate — show that more people are trying to enter the workforce because conditions are beginning to improve, he said in a statement.

Connecticut has recovered 30,200, or about 26 percent, of jobs lost in the recession, the Labor Department said. The high point of the job recovery in the state was in February.


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