Connecticut's unemployment rate is down for a third consecutive month. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, down from 7.8 percent in September. State Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby says Connecticut's economists estimate the real unemployment rate is closer to 11-percent, down from 12 to 13 percent last month.
The Danbury Labor Market Area was the only one of the 6 to lose jobs in October. Danbury lost 500 jobs in the last Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The New Haven Labor Market Area grew the most, by 4,200 positions. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area was next adding 3,300 positions.
A falling unemployment rate is generally good economic news, but state Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby says the federal unemployment figures are artificially low. He expects the U.S. Department of Labor to notify the state shortly that the High Extended Benefits period has ended. In turn, over the next few weeks the state agency will notify the claimants who will begin to lose benefits.
Restaurants in Connecticut have gained more than 70% of the jobs lost over the past seven months. Acting Director of Research Patrick Flaherty at the state Labor Department Patrick Flaherty says the industry was among the hardest hit during the pandemic. But he says it's a stark contrast to the retail industry, which even pre-pandemic was challenged by online shopping.