Unemployment in Connecticut dipped to 7.8 percent in February as the economy added 4,900 nonfarm jobs, the state Department of Labor said Thursday. Revised numbers show 5,400 new jobs in January.

“This is good news. For the seventh consecutive month, we’re seeing positive signs in the state’s economic recovery, again outpacing the national average and bringing unemployment to its lowest level since April 2009,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.


State DOL

Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research, offered an analysis unchanged from last month.

“It appears the region’s mild winter continues to help job growth in Connecticut across many industries, including construction, manufacturing and trade,” Condon said. “Unemployment continues to decline, although the strength of the move is diminished somewhat by the second consecutive monthly decline in our labor force.”

The trend is positive, but the gains remain modest. Since February 2011, the state has added 12,100 jobs, representing growth of just 0.7 percent.

The preliminary January jobs estimate of a 7,100 increase was revised downward Thursday to 5,400 jobs.

On the plus side, Connecticut nonfarm employment hit a new high in the recovery with the February 2012 estimate. At 1,633,800 jobs, the number of employed in February surpassed the previous post-recession high of 1,631,100 jobs in April 2011.

In a statement issued by his office, Malloy offered a measured reaction.

“We must not lose sight that we are still at the beginning of the recovery,” he said. “Reclaiming the jobs that were lost will take time, but my administration is committed to do everything we can to put the state on a path that will lead to an economic revival.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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