COVID-19 and inflation faulted for Connecticut’s declining labor production

A report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a 2.5% decline in labor output in Connecticut last spring.

State health officials said a major factor in the decline was the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to worker shortages in several sectors.

Eric Gjede, vice president of public policy for the Connecticut Industry and Business Association, said the state has gained jobs as it recovers from the pandemic, but at a slow pace.

“Even if every person on unemployment benefits today had a job, we’d still have 40,000 open jobs in the state,” Gjede said. “While we’re getting jobs back, we’re just not getting them back at the speed of other states.”

Gjede said his team plans to meet with legislative leaders on how to make living conditions in the state more affordable amid record inflation and the ongoing pandemic.

“The first thing that needs to be done that has simply been ignored by lawmakers year after year is that we need to start addressing the cost of living in Connecticut and the cost of doing business here,” Gjede said.

Gjede also said there is reason to be optimistic about job growth in the manufacturing and construction areas, which in turn will bolster the state’s economy.

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