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The Red Line

Connecticut’s Jobs Crisis

15.5% of the pre-pandemic workforce, has dropped out or is still unemployed.

Connecticut is in a full-blown jobs crisis.

The state workforce has shrunk by about 160,000, or 8.2%, from its pre-pandemic level of 1.93 million in February 2020, the worst decline in the nation. Only three other states have experienced drops of more than 5%.

Of Connecticut’s remaining workforce, about 140,000, or 7.9%, are unemployed - the highest unemployment rate of the 50 states.

Combined, 300,000 people, or 15.5% of the pre-pandemic workforce, have dropped out or are currently unemployed. The next worst level is 10.9% in Hawaii.

Being last is something that Connecticut is accustomed to, but to trail 49th place by such a huge margin is alarming.

Yet, the Democrats who control the state seem clueless. Governor Lamont was mum about last week’s report of just 3,500 jobs gained in June. The gains occurred entirely in the public sector. Private sector jobs declined.

The state’s Congressional delegation is oblivious as well. Congressman Jim Himes (D, 4th District) sent an email to constituents last week trumpeting that “the strong June [national] jobs report surpassed expectations by adding 850,000 new jobs.” He included graphs of the national trends. He made no mention -- and, likely, had no knowledge -- of the dismal conditions in Connecticut.

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Progressive Dogma Collides with Reality

Evidence is emerging that should begin to resolve national controversy on two critical issues, policing and jobs.

Eric Adams’ victory in the Democrat primary in the New York City mayoral race reveals that people of color do not want to “defund the police” as progressives demand.. According to an article in The New York Times, Adams “rejected calls to defund the Police Department and pledged to expand its reach in the city.” “Black and brown voters flocked to his candidacy…”

On the economic front, last week brought welcome news of a big jump in national employment in June (next week, we’ll find out whether Connecticut participated). Yet a new study showed that the central feature of the first of President Biden's several multi-trillion-dollar programs is backfiring. The extension of the very generous supplemental $300 weekly unemployment insurance benefit to early September is hindering a jobs recovery.

According to The Wall Street Journal, twenty-two states have already stopped paying the supplement, and their unemployment rolls are dropping twice as fast as the rolls in the 24 states still planning to pay the supplement until its expiration in September. Four states are ending the benefit in July.

Surprise, real people – actual voters and potential workers - make decisions in their practical self-interest, not according to progressive dogma.

Blacks voting for Adams prefer more cops to keep the streets safe rather than more social workers to do more social work. The Times reported that Adams “focused much of his message on denouncing progressive slogans and policies that he said threatened the lives of ‘Black and brown babies’ and were being pushed by ‘a lot of young, white, affluent people.’”

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