The latest jobs report from the Department of Labor shows that Connecticut lost an additional 1,700 jobs during the month of December, bringing the total number of jobs lost to 13,300 since June of this year.

In the first half of 2016 Connecticut gained 11,300 jobs. The second half of the year more than undid those gains, for a net loss of 2,000 jobs. At the same time, the unemployment rate is a full 1 percent lower. That means fewer people are interested in working in Connecticut than at the beginning of the year.

As part of its Connecticut Can Work! initiative, the Yankee Institute has proposed 11 reforms that will make it easier to hire and work in Connecticut at no cost to taxpayers.

November’s positive job number was also adjusted down from 2,100 to 1,900. Meanwhile the unemployment rate went down to 4.4 percent.

Of the 1,700 jobs lost in December, the private-sector took the biggest hit, losing 1,600 jobs. The government sector saw a loss of 100 jobs during the same month. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area was the only labor market area to add jobs over the course of December, while all other areas remained stagnant or saw small declines.

The Department of Labor report goes on to show that Connecticut has only regained 70 percent of the jobs lost during the 2008-9 recession, far lower than neighboring states such as Massachusetts, which have fully recovered since the economic downturn nine years ago.

“Creating jobs solves a myriad of problems," said Pete Gioia, economist for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. "It improves the housing situation, provides more income, and creates more tax revenue.”

Andy Condon, director of the department's office of research, offered the explanation that more people are self-employed or commuting out of state to jobs. “While we do not yet have supporting data, a combination of tight labor markets, an aging workforce, increased self-employment and growing out-of-state commuting could explain slowing job growth and rapidly declining unemployment rates.”

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