The State of Working Connecticut

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.

 

The State of Working Kentucky 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn reshaped Kentucky’s economy in ways that are still revealing themselves thirty months after the virus arrived in the commonwealth. Part of the story is good news for workers. Aggressive federal pandemic aid has stimulated a record fast recovery and a tight labor market that have begun to drive up wages, increase job opportunities and accelerate unionization efforts. This progress is much needed after years of eroding job quality and stagnant wages.

Utah Economic Benchmarking Project 2022: Utah vs Texas

Voices for Utah Children released today the fifth in its series of economic benchmarking reports that evaluate how the Utah economy is experienced by median- and lower-income families by benchmarking Utah against another state.  This year’s report, authored by Taylor Throne and Matthew Weinstein with support from intern Bryce Fairbanks from the University of Utah Department of Economics, compares Utah to Texas.  While the Economic Opportunity benchmarks come out nearly even, with Utah ahead in 11 and Texas ahead in 8, in the Standard of Living category Utah predominates in 20 categories and Texas in just two.