Local News

Figures Show Largest-Ever Monthly Unemployment Jump In State — to 9%; Governor “Skeptical,” Labor Dept. Cautious In Assessing Number

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(Matt Dwyer/WTIC Photo)

(Matt Dwyer/WTIC Photo)

New figures show Connecticut’s unemployment rate increased half a percentage in August,  to 9.0%.  That is the single largest percentage point monthly increase in 36 years.   The Connecticut Department of Labor says the figures, developed by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, show  the number of jobs in the state fell by 6,800.

However, the Director of the Office of Research at the state Labor Department says the state’s other measures  —  including unemployment insurance claims and announcements of company layoffs and expansions  — do not support the national figures.

Andy Condon says in order to account for the record decline,  state numbers would have to show that nearly 17,000 Connecticut lost their jobs between July and August,  and 55 percent of them did not look for new jobs.  He says that would be a “very unusual pattern.”

Governor Malloy issued a statement saying he is skeptical about the numbers,  pointing out that unemployment claims are down and payroll tax withholdings are up —  two trends opposite what would be expected were the state losing jobs at the rate suggested in the report.

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