Similar to the recoveries from the past three recessions, Connecticut’s job recovery from the pandemic-induced recession of 2020 continues to lag the job recovery for the U.S. as a whole. Specifically, as of July 2022—the most recent month data are available—Connecticut is on track to close its job shortfall in June 2023, nearly a year after the U.S., which already closed its job shortfall. The other major dynamic in the labor market during the ongoing recovery is that wage growth for low- and middle-wage workers in Connecticut has outpaced wage growth for low- and middle-wage workers in the U.S. and it has also outpaced wage growth for high-wage workers in both the U.S. and Connecticut. This exceptional wage growth dynamic is helping to reduce wage inequality and raise the standard of living for low- and middle-wage workers in Connecticut, especially low-wage workers. At the same time, the slower job recovery is contributing to a slower economic recovery more broadly that is limiting the tax revenue available to establish a permanent, fair tax system and make sustained, critical investments, both of which are essential for further raising the standard of living for low- and middle-wage workers.
The purpose of Connecticut Voices for Children’s (CT Voices’) annual State of Working Connecticut report is to provide a detailed overview of Connecticut’s labor market and occasionally to dive deeper into the status of certain workers. The report proceeds in three sections. The first section provides an overview of Connecticut’s employment situation, which relies in part on new, detailed employment measures calculated by the authors. The second section provides an overview of Connecticut’s wage growth, inequality, and gaps, which relies in part on new, detailed wage measures calculated by the authors. The third section provides policy recommendations to address issues with Connecticut’s employment situation and its wage growth, inequality, and gaps.