CT unemployment rate hits lowest mark since July 2008

Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in June, its lowest point since July 2008, as the state added 600 jobs last month – including 2,600 in the private sector that offset losses in government employment, the state Department of Labor reported Monday.

The state has added 27,900 jobs across all sectors since June 2014, when the unemployment rate stood at 6.5 percent.

Connecticut now has gained 13,800 jobs through the first six months of 2015. The state has recovered 97,900 positions, or 82.3 percent of the 119,000 jobs lost during the last recession.

“Above-trend private-sector job growth looks to be continuing, while the jobless rate has recently declined significantly,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research.

“This is yet another milestone reached – unemployment is down to its lowest point in seven years,” Gov Dannel P. Malloy said. “This news comes just a month after we created nearly 6,000 jobs, a huge one-month total.  We are no doubt making progress, and our strategy is no doubt moving Connecticut forward.”

The governor added that these numbers are “another marker that residents’ lives are improving, and another indicator that our economy continues to head in the right direction as a result of our efforts to create jobs.  We know that until everyone that wants a job has one, our work is not complete.”

Peter Gioia, chief economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, noted that Connecticut’s rate is still more than 1 percentage point higher than that of Massachusetts. It also exceeds the national rate of 5.3 percent, “and shows just how stubborn our economic recovery (is) more than five years after the end of the recession,” he said.

Four of the state’s 10 major industry supersectors experienced job gains last month, while five declined, and the information supersector remained unchanged.

The construction and mining supersector enjoyed the biggest gain, adding 2,300 positions in June, while financial activities, manufacturing and professional and business services also grew.

The government supersector faced the biggest drop in June, shedding 2,000 jobs – primarily at the municipal government level. According to the labor department, the timing of local school closing can shift public employment levels sharply during the summer months.

Other supersectors that lost jobs in June include: leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; education and health services; and other services.

Two of the state’s four major labor market areas gained jobs in June, led by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, which added 2,100 positions. The New Haven market added 100 jobs.

The greater Hartford area was the biggest loser, shedding 1,500 positions, while the Norwich-New London-Westerly market dropped 500.

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