Connecticut gained an estimated 4,000 non-farm jobs in March, with the jobless rate remaining unchanged at 6.4 percent, according to a report released Monday by the state Department of Labor.

The data showed civilian labor force growth for the 18th consecutive month since September 2013 and was at its best annualized rate of growth since the recovery began in February 2010.

But the state still has not fully recovered from the recession of March 2008 to February 2010, which cost 119,000 jobs. Connecticut now has recovered 92,700, or 77.9 percent, of those positions.

The private sector has outperformed the government sector, recovering 88.9 percent of jobs lost. (The government sector includes the two tribal casinos, because they are owned by sovereign tribal nations.)

Average weekly initial unemployment claims for first-time filers increased by 1.1 percent to 4,070. That is 5.5 percent lower than the 4,306 first-time claims a year ago.

The U.S. unemployment rate in March was 5.6 percent.

In Connecticut, the Waterbury labor market had the highest unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, while Danbury was the lowest at 5.3 percent.

The average private-sector work week in Connecticut was 33.6 hours, unchanged from a year ago. Average hourly earnings were $29.06, up 91 cents from the March 2014 estimate.

The average wage increase of 3.2 percent outpaced inflation, as the consumer price index actually dipped slightly by a tenth of a percentage point.

Eight of 10 industry sectors made gains.

“As we entered spring, job growth at this point in the recovery seems to be coming from a broader base of the state’s industries,” said Andy Condon, research director at the Department of Labor.

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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