Connecticut Economy Still Moving in Wrong Direction; Largest Mass Layoff in a Year Announced in Co

August 10, 2016

Hartford – Recent news of a massive round of layoffs in southwestern Connecticut, a major company headquarters leaving northeastern Connecticut, and numbers that show Connecticut’s economy is lagging behind other states, all raise serious questions about the direction Connecticut is headed, said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven).

“The absolutely devastating news that 600 Optimum call center and service jobs are being eliminated in Shelton and Stratford is more bad news for our state. It follows yesterday’s announcement that a company that has been headquartered in Connecticut for over 180 years is now moving its home base to Arizona. You can’t tell me that these events have nothing to do with Connecticut’s economy, or that they will have no effect on the already challenging situations our families are facing. They mean less economic development here. They mean more people out of work clamoring for the limited amount of jobs available,” said Fasano.

“When Republicans point to a fact, Democrats are quick to label it ‘rooting for failure’ instead of acknowledging the truth. They choose rhetoric over reality. As lawmakers, we have to acknowledge the harsh realities that years of failed Democrat fiscal policies created. Recognizing the truth today is the only way to make improvements tomorrow. It’s something Democrats still refuse to do. It’s been said that you should never cling to a mistake just because you spent a long time making it. Democrats should heed that advice.”

Sen. Fasano also pointed to the following economic issues:

  • Standard & Poors Global Ratings reported that Connecticut is one of the most susceptible states to a recession.
  • The Index of Small Business Optimism only rose one-tenth of a point in July to 94.6 – a meager increase according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). At 94.6, the Index remains well below the 42-year average of 98.
  • Numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in July show that Connecticut continues to lag behind the rest of New England with a GDP growth rate of only 0.9 percent.
  • Connecticut still has not yet recovered all the jobs lost since the Great Recession.
  • Yesterday, Rogers Corp., an engineered materials company became the most recent addition to a long list of Connecticut companies moving their headquarters out of state. Today Altice announced that 600 layoffs would occur at Optimum in Shelton and Stratford as a result of Optimum closing its call center and reducing customer support operations. This was cited by Hearst Media to be the largest mass layoff confirmed in Connecticut since Hallmark announced last year that it planned to shut down an Enfield facility by the end of August 2016.