unemploment chart Aug. 2014

Connecticut’s unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in July as the state gained 2,400 non-farm jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday.

That marks the sixth consecutive month of job gains for Connecticut, which now has added 9,200 jobs since the calendar year began. The state has recovered 76,400 jobs – or about 64 percent – of the positions lost in the last recession.

“Connecticut experienced its first back-to-back, June-July non-farm employment gain since the recovery began in early 2010, said Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research. “This growth, along with continued declines in the number of unemployed, may be an indication that the moderate employment growth we have seen this year will be sustainable for some time.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said “This latest report is yet another sign that we are making steady progress in improving Connecticut’s economy.”

The governor added, “Since taking office, we have made long-overdue investments that will make sure Connecticut’s economy is positioned for long-term growth and we’re starting to see results.  It’s absolutely critical that we keep working and making these changes so that our residents can find good paying jobs with good benefits.”

But Jerry Labriola Jr., the Republican state chairman, noted that Connecticut still lags the nation in terms of jobs recovered since the last recession.

“Governor Malloy’s out-of-step approach has stifled job creation, prevented growth, and devastated Connecticut’s economy,” Labriola said. “The numbers don’t lie, while the nation as a whole has recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost in the recession, our state has recovered less than two-thirds.”

The private sector added 3,100 jobs since June, when the jobless rate stood at 6.7 percent.

Five of the state’s 10 major employment super-sectors grew jobs last month, led by manufacturing, which added 1,000 positions. Gains also were recorded in: construction and mining; leisure and hospitality; education and health services; and other services.

The public-sector lost 700 jobs while information, professional & business services, and trade, transportation and utilities also lost ground.

The financial activities super-sector was relatively unchanged.

The region of the state with the most job gains was the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk labor market, which added 2,200 jobs, while Danbury and Hartford markets also posted gains.

The New Haven market saw the largest decline, losing 600 jobs, while Waterbury and Norwich-New London also lost ground.

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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