December jobless rate up slightly after a year of improvement

Connecticut’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December, but still finished well below the jobless rate from the end of 2014, the state Department of Labor reported Monday.

The unemployment rate rose in December to 5.2 percent from 5.1 percent in the previous month. Connecticut added 300 non-farm jobs during the final month of 2015, but that wasn’t enough to counter the growing demand for work. December marked the first uptick in the jobless rate since February, when unemployment stood at 6.4 percent.

“It looks like Connecticut ended the year with healthy annual job growth across industry sectors,” said Andy Condon, director of the department’s Office of Research.

The December 2015 rate also compares favorably with the prior year’s. Unemployment in December 2014 stood at 6.3 percent.

But Connecticut still has not recovered all of the jobs it lost since the last recession. Though the private sector is slightly head of the pace — having recouped 114,600 jobs against 111,600 lost — public-sector employment remains 7,900 jobs below pre-recession levels. The public sector includes casino and other workers employed by the state’s Indian tribes.

Overall, the state has recovered 106,700 jobs, or almost 90 percent of the 119,000 non-farm jobs lost in the last recession.

Six of Connecticut’s ten industry super-sectors grew jobs during the last month of 2015, led by the omnibus, “other services” category. Gains also were recorded in: leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; information; and financial activities.

Job losses were recorded in: education and health services; government; manufacturing; and construction and mining.

The New Haven labor market was the only one to gain jobs in December, adding 900 positions.

The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford market experienced the biggest lost, dropping 1,800. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and Norwich-New-London-Westerly markets also were down.

Connecticut's unemployment rate over time

CT Department of Labor

Connecticut’s unemployment rate over time

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