Unemployment chart july 2012

Buoyed by a surge of public-sector hiring, Connecticut gained 1,700 jobs in June, dropping its unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, the state Labor Department reported Thursday.

This marks the fifth straight month of job growth for Connecticut, which now has added 5,300 positions since the calendar year began.

The state’s new jobless rate is down from the 6.9 percent rate recorded in May. But Connecticut’s recovery continues to the lag the nation. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 6.1 percent.

Connecticut now has recovered 73,500 of the 119,100 jobs it lost in the last recession.

“Connecticut’s unemployment rate continues to decline for all the right reasons, such as broad industry job growth coupled with declining unemployment and an expanding labor force, said Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research.

Condon added that “summer seasonal hiring seems to have begun at expected rates.”

But Peter Gioia, chief economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said “All this good news, though, is tempered by the fact that we still have concerns that we only have recovered 62 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, whereas the nation overall has added back over 100 percent of the jobs lost.”

Connecticut’s private sector added just 500 of the 1,700 jobs gained in June. But overall it is up 14,400 positions in 2014.

The public sector added 1,200 jobs last month but remains weak overall, having lost 9,100 jobs since 2014 began.

Seven of the state’s 10 industry super-sectors gained jobs in June, led by the government sector. But employment also was up in professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; education and health services; manufacturing; construction and mining; and information.

The three losing super-sectors were led by leisure and hospitality, which shed 1,000 jobs. Financial activities and other services also were down in June.

Four of Connecticut’s six labor market areas gained jobs, led by New Haven. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Waterbury and Danbury markets also posted gains, while Hartford and Norwich-New London lost jobs last month.

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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