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New research released today by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, in conjunction with the Liberty Foundation, shows that one in 20 Connecticut residents has given up looking for work since 2008.

The state’s labor participation rate dropped 4.2 percent from 2008 to 2013, from 69 percent to 64.8 percent. In addition, the state still has not recovered all the jobs that were lost in the 2008 recession. There were 23,900 fewer Connecticut residents working in August 2014, compared to January 2008.

“This decline highlights the weakness of Connecticut’s economy, and shows just how incomplete its recovery from the 2008 recession has been,” said Carol Platt Liebau, president of the Yankee Institute. “When people who want to work – and who deserve to be able to support their families – become so discouraged that they give up, it’s clear proof that our economy is stuck. Connecticut’s people want to get working again – and that means we need smarter policies that help create jobs, rather than taxing and regulating them out of existence.”

Nationwide, labor force participation – or the number of people who are working or looking for work – has declined to its lowest level in 37 years.

Labor participation rates have dropped in Connecticut across the board since 2008. The percentage of men in the workforce has dropped from 74.9 percent to 70.1 percent, a 4.8 percent decline, while women have seen a 3.5 percent decline from 63.6 to 60.1 percent.

Other significant declines include:
• A 3.7 percent drop for Latinos, from 70.4 percent in 2008 to 66.7 percent in 2013.
• A 5.3 percent drop for African Americans, from 70 percent in 2008 to 64.7 percent in 2013.
• A 7.5 percent drop for African American men, from 72.2 percent in 2008 to 64.7 percent in 2013.

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