Connecticut State Government, Economic Development, Economy, Layoffs, Malloy Corporate Welfare, Malloy, The Economy, Unemployment
The latest data from the Connecticut Department of Labor reveals that the state is making little progress when it comes to re-bounding from the Great Recession.
According to the more conservative unemployment measurement, 171,100 Connecticut residents are presently unemployed. However, using the federal government’s U-6 rate, which measures both the unemployed and those who are in a part-time job but actively looking for full-time employment, more than 15% of Connecticut’s workforce is without the jobs they need.
In addition, of the 117,500 jobs lost since the “recessionary downturn” began, Connecticut has only recovered about 30,000 jobs (25% of all jobs lost).
Despite the claim that the recovery began in February 2010, Connecticut’s government, financial, construction and manufacturing sectors have yet to even begin regaining jobs.
Still on the downside, Connecticut’s government sector remains down 11,100 jobs, while the number in the financial sector is down 4,200 positions, construction and mining is down 1,200 jobs and manufacturing is down 800 jobs.
Since much of the federal Stimulus Funds were not used to supplement government activity, but instead were used to substitute for existing spending, elected officials have failed to help those who lost their jobs in two of the sectors that leaders could actually have had an impact over – government and construction.
Since Governor Malloy took office, government positions have been further eliminated and despite his predilection for the Financial Sector, his First Five Corporate Welfare Program has yet to have any impact. Although considering those favored business need only create 200 jobs, and have five to ten years to do so, whatever impact the corporate welfare program does have will be limited in nature.
A related problem for Connecticut businesses is that as a result of the lengthy recession, the State of Connecticut has already borrowed more than $635 million from the Federal Government to help pay unemployment benefits. Borrowing was necessary because the amount of funds collected from employee unemployment taxes wasn’t enough to cover the costs associated with payments to the unemployed. Since these funds will need to be paid back, Connecticut businesses will be facing high unemployment taxes on an ongoing basis.
Budget Cuts, Economy, Education Reform, Layoffs, Malloy Budget cuts, Malloy, President Obama, Unemployment
On Thursday, Connecticut’s Department of Labor released their monthly report on the state of the economy. The data revealed that the percent of unemployed had risen from 8.1 percent in June to 8.5 percent in July. In response, Governor Malloy said he was “skeptical” of the report’s accuracy.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Obama Administration released a report showing that at least 300,000 teaching jobs have been lost in the last three years. Obama called for new investment in education spending.
The nation’s “official” unemployment rate stands at about 8.3 percent. That means that the true unemployment rate in the United States is at least 15 percent.
Although the media traditionally reports on what is called the “U-3” unemployment rate, a far better measure is one called the “U-6” rate. The “U-6” unemployment rate, which is released at the same time as the lower number, includes the traditional definition of the “unemployed,” but also adds-in those people who are employed in part-time jobs, despite the fact that they are actively looking for full-time work.
While having a part-time job helps some families make ends meet, an honest definition of being unemployed must include those who can’t find the full-time job they need and, instead, are forced to fall back on some type of part-time employment.
Since Connecticut’s numbers are similar to the national numbers, we can safely assume that at least 15% of Connecticut residents continue to find themselves without the work they want and need.
If the truth be told, the notion that the “official” unemployment rate is 8.1 percent or 8.5 percent is, quite frankly, irrelevant.
The very real impact federal, state and local budget cuts have on the economy and our education system becomes clear when we understand that since President Obama took office, the number of Connecticut residents employed in federal, state and local government jobs has dropped from 251,200 to 235,000.
This means that in just the last four years, there are 16,000 few jobs in schools and other government positions around the state.
Of that number, the overwhelming majority, 10,000 jobs, have been lost just since Malloy became Connecticut’s governor.
Last month, President Obama said, “think about what that means for our country. At a time when the rest of the world is racing to out-educate America, these cuts force our kids into crowded classrooms, cancel programs for preschoolers and kindergarteners, and shorten the school week and the school year. That’s the opposite of what we should be doing as a country.”
Today, the President used his weekly address to talk about the loss of teaching jobs, while reiterating his pledge to invest an additional $25 billion to prevent layoffs and strengthen public education around the country.
The sad truth is that regardless of whether the President is calling for more of an investment in education or the Governor is skeptical that the unemployment is going up when “feels” it should be going down, the fact is, Connecticut’s children are returning to school in a couple of weeks with far few teachers and support staff.
That is bad news for unemployed teachers, our children and our entire society.
Economic Development, Malloy Economic Development, Malloy, Unemployment
(Cross-posted from Pelto’s Point at the New Haven Advocate)
Connecticut’s next monthly unemployment report will be coming out in a couple of weeks but last month’s report revealed that the state’s official unemployment rate remained at 9.1%.
Connecticut lost 4,100 jobs in June after losing 5,500 the month before.
According to the State’s Department of Labor most of the job loss was in the government sector and private sector jobs have been growing much slower than last year.
From January till June 2011, Connecticut’s economy added 1,800 private sector jobs compared to an increase of 14,100 jobs for the same period in 2010.
While the statewide rate was 9.1%, Connecticut’s urban centers and poorer rural communities are being especially hard hit.
The unemployment rate; Hartford (16.4%), Waterbury (14.5%), Bridgeport (14.3%), New Haven (13.8%), New Britain (13.2%), East Hartford (12.2%), New London (12.4%) and Windham (12.3%).
The official unemployment rate is based on people who have been looking for work in the past month. It does not count underemployed workers or those who have given up trying to find work.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics created a new unemployment measure in 1995 – called the U-6 rate – that attempts to better measure the real unemployment rate.
Connecticut’s official unemployment rate of 9.1% translates to a U-6 unemployment rate of 16.6%.
This means the real unemployment rate in Hartford is over 30% with the percent of truly unemployed is greater than one in four in Waterbury and Bridgeport.
Some experts say that even the U-6 unemployment rate underestimates the true number of people who want to work but can’t find employment.
The Malloy Administration’s primary economic development tool appears to be the First Five Program that provides significant corporate subsidies for selected companies that promise to create at least 250 new jobs. Cigna, TicketNetwork and ESPN have been the first recipients of these tax-payer funds. These companies have an extended period of time before these jobs must be created.
Sadly, even if these companies were to create the “required” jobs immediately it wouldn’t meet the number of employees laid off in just the last month.
As a result of the Malloy Administration’s recent state employee layoffs, at least 600 more Connecticut families now have at least one wage earner who is out of work.
Meanwhile the First Five Program does not seem to include a policy to direct some of those new jobs to Connecticut’s hardest hit communities.