Location:
EMPLOYMENT; LABOR

OLR Research Report


April 26, 2010

 

2010-R-0195

NUMBER OF JOBS IN CONNECTICUT COMPARED TO 20 YEARS AGO

By: Jeanne Hayes, Legislative Fellow

You asked (1) for the number of jobs in Connecticut today compared to 20 years ago, (2) how other states compare, and (3) for the number of private sector jobs in Connecticut today compared to 20 years ago.

SUMMARY

To answer your questions, this report uses Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) data showing the number of people employed in Connecticut and other states in 1990 and 2010. The number of people employed in Connecticut correlates with the number of jobs available. Based on these numbers, this report calculates the percent change in jobs in Connecticut and eight other states (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

Even though Connecticut's population has increased 7.03% since 1990, Connecticut currently has 1.75% fewer jobs than it did then. Of the eight other states, only Rhode Island saw a similar decrease in the number of jobs. The remaining seven states had increases in the number of jobs. In addition to having fewer total jobs, Connecticut also has 4.5% fewer private-sector jobs than it did in 1990.

NUMBER OF JOBS IN CONNECTICUT TODAY COMPARED TO 20 YEARS AGO

Jobs in Connecticut decreased by 1.75% from 1990 to 2010. In February 1990, Connecticut had 1,638,800 non-farm jobs, compared to 1,610,200 in February 2010. Jobs in Connecticut have not been on a steady decline for the past 20 years. Instead, job totals have ebbed and flowed. For example, in December 1992, Connecticut had only 1,521,900 jobs, the lowest amount over the 20-year sample period. But in March 2008, Connecticut had 1,711,500 jobs, the highest amount over the sample period. Table 1 shows the number of jobs in Connecticut between 1990 and 2010.

Table 1: Connecticut Jobs, 1990–2010*



COMPARISON TO OTHER STATES

This report compares the number of jobs in Connecticut in 1990 and 2010 with the number of jobs in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. For reference, this report also includes each state's change in population. Like Connecticut, jobs in Rhode Island decreased from 1990 to 2010, even though its population increased. Jobs in the remaining seven states increased from 1990 to 2010. Table 2 compares the changes in Connecticut's jobs and population with the changes in other states from 1990 to 2010.

Table 2: Change in Jobs and Population in Nine States

State

Jobs in February 1990

(in thousands)

Jobs in February 2010*

(in thousands)

% Change in Jobs

1990 to 2010

% Increase in State Population

1990 to 2009

Connecticut

1638.8

1610.2

-1.75%

7.03%

Maine

543.3

590.2

8.63%

7.36%

Massachusetts

3039.3

3139.1

3.28%

9.59%

New Hampshire

519.8

629.5

21.10%

19.41%

New Jersey

3690.0

3853.5

4.43%

12.65%

New York

8277.5

8484.0

2.49%

8.62%

Pennsylvania

5189.6

5548.9

6.92%

6.09%

Rhode Island

460.5

453.6

-1.50%

4.96%

Vermont

259.7

301.2

15.98%

10.48%

Source: BLS, U.S. Census Bureau

*BLS figures are preliminary for February, the most recent month available.

Note: BLS figures are seasonally adjusted and exclude farm jobs and self-employed jobs.

NUMBER OF PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS IN CONNECTICUT TODAY COMPARED TO 20 YEARS AGO

Connecticut currently has 4.5% fewer private sector jobs than it did in 1990. Compared to 1,401,300 jobs in February 1990, Connecticut had approximately 1,337,900 private jobs in February 2010. Private sector jobs in Connecticut peaked in June 2000 (1,470,400) and again in December 2007 (1,472,900). Table 3 shows the number of private sector jobs over the last 20 years.


Table 3: Connecticut Private Sector Jobs, 1990–2010*


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