November 3, 2010

While the national economy is said to be recovering, far too many Connecticut residents are still looking for jobs. Too many people who still have jobs are afraid of finding themselves on the unemployment line. As a State Senator – and as a business owner who is involved in the community – I talk to people nearly every day who wonder when the end of the recession is going to have a positive effect on their lives.

Recent information from the state Department of Labor indicates that Connecticut’s jobs situation may remain volatile for awhile longer. Salvatore DiPillo, Labor Statistics Supervisor for the state Department of Labor, was quoted in a recent agency report explaining that “September’s report shows that the jobs market continues to be unstable. And while we’ve seen some overall improvement in the past several months in the average workweek, average wages, and new claims for unemployment insurance, we can expect to see monthly fluctuations in the economic indicators until the recovery has taken a foothold.”

Connecticut’s unemployment rate for September is 9.1 percent, the same as it was for August. The national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent. While it is true that Connecticut has seen private sector job growth over the past several months, Connecticut lost 5,900 nonfarm jobs in September. Over the past year, nonfarm employment has dropped by 3,000 jobs.

What all of this means is that resolving state government’s ongoing fiscal problems and passing legislation designed to revitalize our economy have to be the top priorities of our next Governor and General Assembly.

As you may remember, the General Assembly did pass important pro-jobs legislation earlier this year that, among other things, authorizes programs and policies for establishing or expanding businesses and creating jobs; tax credits for investing in new and expanding businesses; pre-seed capital for businesses developing new concepts; and provisions intended to help today’s students who are preparing themselves for tomorrow’s jobs. I strongly supported this bipartisan legislation, provisions of which take effect at various times, and believe just as strongly that we must continue to be persistent in our efforts to encourage job growth in the upcoming legislative session.

The General Assembly, along with our new Governor, must also put state government’s fiscal house in order. Connecticut is projected to end Fiscal Year 2012 with a $2.6 to $3 billion budget deficit. Heading off that projected deficit will require tremendous bipartisan cooperation and the willingness to make difficult decisions. It goes without saying that at least some of those decisions will fail to please everyone.

Connecticut is a beautiful state. Most of us would not want to live anywhere else. I believe that, working together, we can make sure that our children and grandchildren are able to call Connecticut home.

As always, I urge constituents to contact me with their questions and concerns, or to discuss issues that are important to Connecticut. I can be reached at my legislative office in Hartford at 1-800-842-1421 or via e-mail to [email protected].