Connecticut’s unemployment rate fell slightly in November as the state added 300 jobs in a month hampered by the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, the Labor Department reported Friday

The jobless rate fell from 9 to 8.8 percent last month as half of Connecticut’s 10 major employment sectors showed growth.

“November’s job and unemployment numbers are encouraging, especially in the light of the challenges that Hurricane Sandy brought,” said Andy Condon, director of the department’s Office of Research. “However, the continuing trend of civilian labor force decline driven primarily by previously working individuals’ causes concern that we are seeing a fundamental shift in the demographics of Connecticut’s workforce.”

Unemployment 12-21-12

State and national unemployment since 2001. Source: Connecticut Department of Labor.

The state’s private sector added 600 jobs in November, and is up a modest 4,100 positions from November 2011.

Professional and business services topped all sectors in terms of job growth, adding 1,100 positions.

Other employment sectors that experienced growth in November included construction and mining; other services; trade, transportation and utilities; and leisure and hospitality.

The largest decline last month occurred in manufacturing, which was down 1,200 jobs and has fallen four months in a row. Declines also were recorded in financial activities; information; government; and health services.

Overall, Connecticut has recovered 30,700 of the 117,500 jobs lost in the last recession, or just over 26 percent.

“Since Governor Malloy took office the state has gained thousands of jobs and the unemployment rate is down,” said Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba. “That said, we have a long way to go to get to where we need to be.”

The job outlook by labor market also was mixed in November, with three experiencing growth, and three recording job losses.

Employment was up the most in the Norwich-New London market, which gained 500 jobs. The greater Hartford and Waterbury area also recorded gains.

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, New Haven and Danbury markets lost jobs, due mostly to storm related issues.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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