EAST HARTFORD: A growing and expanding mortgage company has halted its expansion and new headquarters after a dispute with the Connecticut Banking Department.
1st Alliance Lending LLC announced it’s terminating a planned expansion of its Connecticut headquarters and ended negotiations with the Department. The company said that the department’s regulatory efforts aimed at the company were an “effort to raise revenue through fines and penalties on consumer lenders and their employees and impose new regulatory hurdles to doing business in Connecticut.”
The company says as result of the State’s action it will lay off up to 35 Connecticut employees.
HARTFORD: Tight labor market or not Connecticut is raising its maximum weekly unemployment benefit by $18. This is the highest amount allowed under law, the increase will take the current maximum of $613 to $631, effective Oct. 7.
According to CBIA’s vice president for government affairs Eric Gjede, “the decision by the state Department of Labor is designed to bring the benefit in line with wage increases.”
Claims filed prior to October 1 will not be impacted by the increase.
HARTFORD: Just as the state and environmental groups face off in Federal Court on Thursday September 13 over moves to cut back on energy efficiency programs, a new report outlines the scope of the industry in Connecticut.
According to E2 a business oriented non-profit organization that advocates for the “energy efficiency” industry, Connecticut is ranked 22nd in the country in energy efficiency employment.
The report says that Connecticut has 34,743 jobs across the entire business.
HARTFORD: Connecticut may finally be joining the national job growth that it has been lagging. In May the state added 4100 jobs, one of the largest monthly gains in yars and follow two months of job declines.
The state saw gains in the private sector by 4300 jobs and Connecticut has gained all of the jobs lost in the recession. CBIA’s economist Peter Goia said “the private sector is starting to grow at a moderate rate,” he added, “the state is starting to see year-over-year trends that are more positive. The biggest concern is that the labor force shrank again.”
Forbes Magazine: "Pratt's 20 years developing geared turbofan technology has paid off with an engine that is way ahead of the competition. It is an amazing feat to have accomplished this with a manufacturing base concentrated in the high-wage,
high-tax state of Connecticut."
FARMINGTON: For more than two decades the news out of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) headquarters has been pretty mixed. Connecticut employment at one time more than 25,000 dwindled to as little as 15,000 in the state until things started picking up two years ago and the company added 3,000 jobs.
The future in Connecticut looks a lot different today with the announcement by the company that thanks in part to the recent tax reform package, a major capital and employment expansion is on the horizon. Gregory J. Hayes, Chairman & CEO announced the company would be hiring 35,000 people and investing $15 billion in research and development and capital improvement across the company over the next five years.
As many as 7,000 of those hires, including 2,000 new positions will be in Connecticut.
The company stinging from criticism of employment issues at its Carrier division cited its commitment to US based employment.
Hayes said "Over the past three years, we have created more jobs in the U.S. than in the rest of the world combined. Our investments reflect our core belief that, similar to U.S. economic goals, United Technologies' continued success will be dependent on a highly-skilled workforce, world class manufacturing facilities, and workforce education programs that enable employees to improve their skills and remain competitive in an increasingly digital economy."
A company release quoted its CEO saying “federal tax reform, which slashed the corporate tax rate along with lower rates for individual taxpayers, means the U.S. now has the most competitive tax system in the world.”
The release added, “as a direct result [of tax reform], UTC intends to repatriate about $5 billion of cash tied to its overseas operations that will benefit from more favorable tax treatment at home.”
Most of the 35,000 job openings will result from workforce retirements or normal turnover, but that “several thousand positions” including the 2,000 in Connecticut would be net new jobs.
HARTFORD: The Connecticut Labor Department reported another loss in jobs by the state even as the US economy added more than 168,000 jobs in April. The loss of 1,400 jobs follows a loss of 3500 jobs in March, which was revised from an initial estimate of 2000 lost jobs. The job numbers didn’t move the needle on the unemployment rate which remained at 4.5%, the US unemployment rate was 3.9% in April.
Connecticut is only one of seven US states that have not recovered the jobs lost in the recession. Alabama is short 62,637 jobs, or 3%, West Virginia 33,428 [4%], Mississippi 26,666 [2%], New Mexico 23,422 [2%], Connecticut 19,781 [1%], Wyoming 13,257 [4%] and Illinois 11,682 [0.2%].
HARTFORD: Connecticut Attorney General, George Jepsen has again issued an opinion on the attempts by state legistlators to limit the speech rights of employers.
House Bill 5473, which would restrict businesses’ ability to speak freely in meetings with their employees on political, legislative, regulatory, or union organizing topics.
Jepsen said that the opinion found that federal law under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) would preempt the state legislation. He made a similar ruling in 2011 on a different bill, but proponents argue that the attendance at meetings is not speech but an action by the companies.