State Unemployment Rate
Lowest in Three Years
The state Labor Department has just reported that Connecticut’s job market continues on its path to recovery, expanding by 4,900 new jobs in February and state unemployment dropping to 7.8 percent, the lowest since March 2009.
The private sector in Connecticut has reclaimed 48,600, or 44.1 percent, of the private jobs lost over the 23 months that technically defined the national recession.
This is great news, but it’s just a point in time, and I am committed to growing even more jobs and continuing to improve Connecticut’s economy.
New Legislation is Putting People
Back to Work
I voted during the last special session for a new state jobs program called “STEP UP” that provides state subsidies and grants to help small businesses hire more people and which so far has resulted in 65 new jobs at 45 state companies, with another 135 residents in the process of being hired.
The legislature’s investment in Connecticut jobs and its economy seems to be paying off more and more everyday. There’s been a credit crunch in the private sector for years, and business owners have been crying out for the kind of assistance that Connecticut is now providing. And it’s making a big difference for a lot of people—including Street Fleet Mechanics in Bloomfield, which just hired two people under the STEP-UP program.
STEP UP provides two types of hiring incentives—a scaled, six month wage subsidy, and a small manufacturer training grant that provides up to $12,500 over a six-month period. Qualified participants are typically residents who may have some of the necessary job qualifications but who still require on-the-job training to meet the needs of the company.
To be eligible, a company must employ less than 50 people and training must be provided at the business site. The new employee must be an unemployed jobseeker, and those hired under the wage subsidy program must meet certain income requirements and reside in specific municipalities, based on population or unemployment rates.
Investing in Our Future
Another piece of good economic news is that Connecticut Innovations—the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology-based innovation and economic development—is making a $500,000 investment through its Seed Investment Fund in a Farmington company called Innovatient Solutions.
Innovatient is developing a patient-centered information system aimed at improving communications between hospital care providers and patients in order to enhance clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Innovatient will use this funding to graduate from the Technology Incubation Program at the UConn Health Center and move into a larger space in Farmington. This is the type of business entrepreneurship that is the future of Connecticut and which Governor Malloy and the state legislature are nurturing and growing!