State officials say the job market is improving, but the number of people working in Connecticut has actually fallen every month for the past two years.
While the unemployment rate has come down from its peak of 9.4 percent in 2010 to 8 percent last month, Connecticut has shed 33,400 wage-earners since the end of 2010. The unemployment number can go down even as the number of workers in the state shrinks because some people retire while others give up looking for work.
Here is a breakdown of the numbers:
– According to state labor statistics, in March 2011 there were 1,737,300 people working in Connecticut. By April 2013 that number had shrunk to 1,700,700, a drop of 36,600 people.
– Fewer people are in the workforce. From a high of 1,915,300 people either working or looking for work in May 2010, the number has steadily decreased every month for the past three years. In April 2013 there were 1,847,700 people either working or looking for work, according to Census Bureau figures.
– For the past 13 months Connecticut’s unemployment rate has been higher than the national average. That is a significant change. Historically, Connecticut’s unemployment rate was consistently lower than the national average. From mid-1997 until November 2010 Connecticut’s unemployment rate was either at or below the national average every month except for five months. That trend seems to be in reverse.