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Connecticut’s unemployment rate falls to 4.2% in May as 1,600 new jobs added

Connecticut employers added more jobs in May and the state's unemployment fell to 4.2%
Nam Y. Huh

Connecticut added 1,600 jobs in May, according to the state Department of Labor. The state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2%.

The job gains were in the private sector, with private education gaining 1,300 jobs and other sectors adding 700 jobs. The state’s private sector has now recovered 86% of the jobs lost during the pandemic. The public sector has continued to lose jobs with a high rate of state employee retirements; that sector is below 40% recovered.

“Many of our important sectors have fully recovered all the jobs that were lost during the pandemic," said Patrick Flaherty, an economist with the state labor department. "And anyone in Connecticut who is looking to find a job, we believe there is an opportunity for them to find a job in our state."

There are indications that Connecticut’s unemployment rate will continue to fall, he said.

Eric Gjede, with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, disagrees with Flaherty.

“When you have so many open jobs in the state, returning only 1,600 people to the workforce is very slow progress,” Gjede said.

Connecticut’s rate of job recovery is much slower than other states, he said.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.