Q&A: Amid a National Labor Shortage, Why Does CT Have More People Unemployed Than Jobs?

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The country is facing the opposite problem from a year ago, instead of a large amount of unemployed people, most states are now seeing more open jobs and not enough people to fill them. But Connecticut is one of just eight states that has more currently unemployed people, and not enough current open jobs.

According to a new report from Stateline, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, there's less than one job available per unemployed person in our state.

Daryl Capuano, the CEO of Career Counseling Connecticut, sat down with NBC Connecticut's Dan Corcoran to talk about what that means.

Dan: "So Daryl, we've been hearing about this labor shortage and how employers just can't find people to fill these jobs. But did these numbers show something different happening here in Connecticut?"

Capuano: "They do. But it's not all bad news. So the good news from my optimistic take is a Connecticut has real jobs that are attractive in banking, finance insurance, these jobs are full time jobs that go into the indefinite future. They have benefits, they're attractive for many reasons. Well, we don't have a lot of shift jobs that are part-time, that are temporary, that don't have benefits. Now, some folks would say the obvious also that Connecticut is a slow-growth state. And that, of course, is part of the issue is well,

Dan: "Let's talk more about that. What does it say about our state's workforce and economy that we have more unemployed people than open jobs."

Capuano: "We have a highly educated and fairly affluent populace. So a reasonable number of my clients who fit those descriptions, they're not willing to settle. So they're making decisions to perhaps stay on the sidelines until they can find a more attractive job. Some of that also stems from affluence. A reasonable number of our clients are young 20-somethings, there's a bit of a failure to launch. Some of that comes from anxiety, some of that comes from living at home isn't too bad in a place like Connecticut, particularly near the shoreline. And some that, of course, does lead to Connecticut economy being a bit sluggish. So there's a bit of good news and a bit of bad news."

Dan: "So when you look at the New England region, places like New Hampshire, Vermont, they have more than double the amount of open jobs compared to this state here. Do you think that people in Connecticut will start looking elsewhere maybe out of state if they have to?"

Capuano: "New York and New Jersey actually have a similar situation as Connecticut, and I think part of it is this unusual situation that we're in, we can choose to stay at home and lead a pretty nice life if you live in certain towns in Connecticut, and I've noticed a reasonable number of people making that choice. So when they're deciding what they want to do, they don't want to do something that's really unattractive. Now, that means they want to live in Connecticut because of nice quality of life. So I don't necessarily see them leaving Connecticut, but also there, they might sit on the sidelines and might appear that they just don't want to work because they're not enough don't have jobs that will be appealing to them."

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