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In March 2008, the number of jobs on businesses’ payrolls in Connecticut reached a total of 1.72 million. The state had never had that many positions — and it has never had as many since then.

Today, Connecticut’s economy still has not fully recovered from the Great Recession. It is one of only four states — alongside West Virginia, Wyoming and Vermont — that had fewer jobs at the end of 2023 than in March 2008, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those three other states’ struggles with jobs growth in the past generation are not shocking. For sparsely populated states, it is more challenging to keep residents and recruit newcomers. The lack of people then becomes an impediment to creating jobs and overall economic growth.

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