The pandemic is largely over. Now, the challenge is to revive the economy.
In practical terms, that means transitioning from policies supporting people who are out of work to policies encouraging people to get back to work. There is a fierce national debate about how fast to transition. Connecticut is on the wrong side of the debate – and cannot afford to be.
The number of workers in the state’s workforce has plummeted during the pandemic by 188,000 since February 2020, according to federal statistics. This is a drastic 9.7 percent decline, by far the biggest drop in the nation. Only three other states have had declines over 5 percent.
These are workers who are not looking for work or who have left the state.
As drastic as it is, the workforce decline is not the entire story.