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Connecticut adds 6,500 jobs in July, still lags nation

Various laborers doing skilled work.

Connecticut’s latest job numbers show that the state added 6,500 jobs in July but lags the nation in pandemic job recovery.

Nationally, job numbers have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. But in Connecticut, the July job numbers show that only 88% of the private sector jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic have been recovered, according to the state Department of Labor.

Connecticut’s labor force is smaller than it was pre-pandemic because of a high number of retirements, said Patrick Flaherty, the department’s director of research.

He said daycare issues and new businesses, including start-ups, instead of returning to the workforce are to blame.

"We also know that there are some women in particular who have children, who had some difficulty finding childcare," Flaherty said. "There are other people who have found a way to support themselves and maintain themselves without actually getting back into the labor force.”

The state now has 120,000 job openings spanning a wide range of industries. However, construction jobs have rebounded to 112% of the pre-pandemic level.

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.